If you don’t spend your days heads down, immersed in technology it’s easy to feel intimidated. It’s complicated, it’s full of unfamiliar acronyms and it always seems like there’s some secret knowledge that you can’t quite grasp. And sometimes, well, it is hard. But it’s not rocket science either. At its core it’s something you already understand. It’s building, construction, putting things together to make something new. Sure, we’re using code and not boards and nails, but in the end they have more in common than meets the eye.
Every building starts with a goal. Not with a hammer. Not even with a blueprint. Just a goal.
“I want to house two adults and two children on 0.2 acres of land.”
“I want to provide public library services to an area serving about 100,000 people, and I want to offer them about 25,000 books.”
Those two are very different. You’d hire a different architect. She’d build you a different blueprint. You’d hire a different contractor. It would take more money and more time to build the library than to build the house. And you would certainly never start building a house for a family of four and halfway through decide you wanted to turn it into a public library. That’s common sense. It’s smart planning and decision making. You started with the end in mind.
Technology is no different. You’ll never make smart decisions if you don’t understand your goal. And just as in building, there is no such thing as build it and they will come. Who will come? Why? What do we want them to do when they get here? Will they pay us to be here? If not, who will?
Start with the end in mind. Don’t decide what you’re going to build until you know where you’re going. “We want a mobile app?” “Do you? Why? What is the purpose of having a mobile app? Do your customers have mobile devices? Are they open to using the internet to do business with you?” Smart planning. Smart decisions.