Slowing down is good business

In the software industry we proudly assert that we thrive on change and agility and speed.

But I am afraid that — too easily — speed and agility can become a disadvantage. An excuse to be boring and cheap. We can build a McDonald’s in 43 days. A medieval cathedral was often built over 100 years. That is why you do not experience awe when you walk into a fast-food restaurant. Speed is easy to replicate, awe is not.

Sure, there are times when speed is what matters, if we are building shelters for flood victims, for example. But hardly everything is a flood type emergency!

It is such a welcome relief to meet the rare executive that says: let us take some extra time to do this right. I assure you they exist, it happened to me.

Someone said that the beauty of the knitting is in the patience that was put in it. It is the same with software. Save the feverish race to a finish for the rare occasion when it is truly needed. Let us build fewer McDonald’s and more stunning cathedrals.

Since unique and hard to replicate differentiators are strategic advantages, slowing down to create something beautiful is simply good business.