Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
I’m a fan of lessons learned. I especially like Stevey’s Google Platform Rant because it’s raw and it’s real, and it’s an insider’s lessons on what they think Amazon does right, and what Google does wrong, and how to fix it. It’s a call to action.
It did not strike me as a bash post (although it might feel like that if you’re on the receiving end of the rubber mallet )… but instead, I see it as a great wake up call by somebody with passion, conviction, and who actually cares about the great opportunity at hand … The opportunity to build an amazing platform, and take a page out of the playbook from companies that do platforms well. I’m a big believer that great change requires a sense of urgency, and that people are often so desensitized because of overload to what’s truly urgent (and important) … that the wake up call needs a bit of sting (and nothing stings like dabs of truth.)
What makes this particular post truly insightful (and keep in mind it can be yanked from the Web), is that it’s from somebody who has spent six years at Amazon and six years at Google. (It really is an insider’s view. In fact, the original post was not meant to be shared publicly.) Steve has the benefit of contrast, and the benefit of seeing how strategies and tactics play out over time. More importantly, Steve has the ability to tune in and surface the vital few surprising insights that count.
Here is my short-list of key take aways from the post:
The meta-lesson reinforces what I’ve come to believe to be true, which is that platforms and services win in the end, and that applications are the pull-through. It’s the applications that make the platform’s capabilities meaningful, contextual, and relevant, and it’s the platform that makes the applications sustainable for the long-haul and consistent where it counts. And the elegance of the platform is what empowers the ecosystem to takes things well beyond what anybody originally dreamed up … as a catalyst for innovation and possibility.