It’s suddenly stormy again here in Seattle, and I see I. M. is keeping his pate warm. I. M.’s new column, “It starts with shipping,” will warm the hearts of many, I’m sure. His column emphasizes the “old basics of writing solid code that focuses on customers and their goals” while also addressing the red herrings and heartaches (and happiness) of shipping services rather than packaged products.
I. M. begins this month’s “outreach” this way:
Call me "old school" but I believe in shipping. Trying isn't enough. Getting close isn't enough. Good ideas aren't enough. You've got to ship.
It used to be that interviews started with, "What have you shipped?" If you hadn't shipped recently, "Why?" Why? Because you can't deliver customer value if you don't deliver. You can't iterate and improve without finishing an iteration. You can't get customer feedback without customers.
People used to complain that promotions and rewards were disproportionally distributed to those who shipped. I say, "Absolutely, that's how it should be." Does this hurt quality? No, you set a high minimum quality bar and ship. Does it hurt innovation? No, innovators have always risked an initial drop in pay to receive a big payoff should they deliver.
If you enjoy this column or podcast, you might want to take a look at I. M. Wright’s “Hard Code” (Microsoft Press, 2008), which includes 49 columns and numerous Eric Asides contextualizing, clarifying, and complementing I. M.’s unpulled punches. (Eric Brechner is Director of Development Excellence in Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence group.)
We’ll post an archived podcast by Mr. Wright later this month. Use the “I. M. Wright” or “podcasts” tag in the right column of our blog to find all of our I. M. Wright podcasts.