Big starts with small. It’s easy when you are an entrepreneur, because you begin the journey alone or with a small group of supporters, but if you are a senior manager @GlobalCorp, you’d be forgiven for thinking that big is best. It isn’t: big failures are frequent and expensive.
In Tech, Agile methodologies and component-based architectures have gone a long way in transforming attitudes and practices, helping engineers deliver incremental value rather than big-bang solutions. All too often, however, talking the talk beats walking the walk.
Brand marketers obsess over encapsulating a concept, not matter how complex, into the fewest possible words. This a particularly vicious task because, in the abstract world of ideas and intentions, big is beautiful all the time, and there’s nothing obvious about turning something big into something small: ask a physicist what it would take to reverse-engineer an atom from the effects of a nuclear explosion or, more mundanely, picture yourself packing a giant sleeping bag into the tiniest of sacks.
What I am trying to say is that it’s ok to think big but, in real world applications, you need small bricks to build a sturdy house.
The LiveDataset perspective
This summer we achieved something very big: for the first time, we created a client solution 100% “by configuration”, an assessment tool supporting data capture, reporting, charts, dashboards, user and reference data administration.
We always prided ourselves in delivering maximum value with the smallest of efforts but this was the perfect demonstration of the aspirational objective of LiveDataset:
to create any data collaboration system from scratch with no coding.
In other words: “you give us requirements for an application that will be used by many users to support a custom process, and we will deliver and deploy a working version faster than you ever thought possible”.
“No coding”, alàs, is an elusive goal. In most cases, complex solutions will require purpose-built plug-ins once generic configuration reaches its limits. The fact that, in this last project, we were able to work entirely within them is a testament to the continued investment in the LiveDataset platform.
LiveDataset enables big deployments with small risk: speed and flexibility=iterative growth, SaaS model=no fixed costs.
In the universe of aphorisms, big vs small features abundantly. Having had fun exploring, I selected these three for the insightful articles behind the hyperlinks:
- Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves (Anonymous)
- A great man is always willing to be little (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Big things have small beginnings (T.E. Lawrence)
This piece is part of our Digital Fire Drills series.