The cost of cutting corners

I have worked in software development departments, where after the product was finished, we had to hire an additional 20 developers just to keep it running. Those whom are seasoned developers among us, can immediately understand what I am talking about.

When you cut corners, you create unstable software. When you create unstable software, a large portion of your operations will fail. When an operation fails, you’ll need somebody that understands the system to babysit it, and fix it – Which of course translates to a software developer for all practical concerns.

Requiring a software developer to babysit 25% of your form submissions, spending hours reading through log files, to figure out what goes wrong – Is probably OK if you live in a world where a software developer will cost you $5 per hour. If you live in the real world though, it is not OK!

Preventing 25% of your users to register at your website, having them wait for 2 days while 2-3 software developers tries to figure out why their registration form doesn’t work if the user has an ó character in his name, because of a bug in your software system – Is not OK!

However, just breadth in and out and stay calm. Because somewhere out there, is somebody whom are not willing to cut corners when creating their systems. Somewhere out there, is some software development department wanting to do things right. They might not make it first to market, and you might be able to outperform them in the short run – However, when they finally do come around, they’ll blow your value proposition off the table, and you’ll be left picking up the scraps from their table, without any amount of sustainable revenue – Yet still needing to hire 10x as many software developers, to maintain a system with 10x as many bugs, spending half their days reading through log files …

Good luck with that 😉

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