Why I preach it

The other day, I gave a presentation on “Three Ways to Get Your Web Development Project Back on Track.” It’s the same overall concept as what you typically read on this blog, in a little different packaging. For one thing, they asked me to avoid using the word “sucks” too much. 🙂

I got carried away a little, maybe, with the motivation part. Why does it matter, really, if a project “sucks” or not? Why do we bother making projects successful and work life better?

It’s not profit

…because money is actually fake, just a proxy for value. The important things are whatever solves problems, alleviates pain, promotes health, and makes people happy. We push money around ostensibly to keep track of everyone’s contributions, but sometimes that connection is tenuous. The key thing is to Make Stuff Go Better. I really believe this.

What suckage costs

Software and Web projects can suck for any number of reasons (although I speak of eight main ones), but the suckage takes this kind of human toll:

  • Illness and exhaustion
  • Broken relationships
  • Diminished skills and enthusiasm

I talked about this part with some intensity. One evaluation read in part: “Good speaker… but sounds like the pastor at a really liberal church.” All right, so I got enthusiastic about the motivation part. I still think it’s a big deal.

So my point…

…and I do have one, is to consider the bigger picture. Optimize your numbers, sure, but try to work sustainably, work on the right things, and do it in a way that respects people’s needs.

Because that’s all you really have anyway.