Done == Ready?
25 February 2013
Author: Sekhar Sarukkai
Facebook is famous for its "Done is better than perfect" mantra that guides its rapid release cycles – this of course reflects the worldview of any iterative development process where teams make incremental but fully functioning solutions often, and in predictable timeframes. However, for a startup mono-manically focused on releasing its 1.0 version, the more important question perhaps is: What does done really mean? Even more, how do you know if, and when, you are done? To make it more gnarly, any entrepreneur who has done this before will let you in on a secret – you are never done!
At Skyhigh, we know we are never done – we have our product/sales guys who want just that last feature to close the next big customer, the architect who wants to refactor the code to extract another ounce of performance, the quality guy who wants to increase code coverage to 94.375%, and the list goes on. So in this state of "un-doneness" common in any enterprise product, how can anyone claim to be done?
As the person responsible for technology, this is a vexing question to deal with – and in my view the answer lies not in answering the "Are we done?" question but in answering the "Are we ready?" question. While the answer to the doneness question is a backward looking statement of what has been achieved, the answer to the readiness question is a forward looking statement of what we have anticipated and the next steps in this state of never being done.
So, are we ready? You bet. At Skyhigh, we are ready. We believe we are ready because of what we have learnt in working with our early design-partner customers and steps we have taken to scale out and meet their needs. We are ready because we have a kick-a** team who have made what was once a dream into a reality while also demonstrating they are ready to step up to any challenge put in front of them, and probably most importantly because we have already put the solution through its paces by processing multiple terabytes of real-world customer data, even before the launch.
So at Skyhigh, we are not done – we have so many cool ideas and customer requests that we are working on feverishly, so not even close – but we are ready. Ready for the next phase of customer adoption and growth!