I’m writing this today as I sit relaxing on my new office couch. You can read about my couch adventure here. Ah, the luxury. Though now I hear that Don Box has a BED in his office. I’m not sure if I should be jealous or not. I think I’ll stick with the couch for a while.
There was another project that I was related to that got put on the back-burner recently, and so I’ve been hearing a few grumbling voices from co-workers. I tell them that everything will work out. I don’t think they believe me. I tell them that I’ve worked on more cancelled projects than anyone. That doesn’t comfort them. It’s the way. It’s how software gets made here. Well, not made exactly, but released. Okay, not released so much as wormed its way out of the corporate gullet and plopped on the cold hard sidewalk, then trampled on and scraped off into a bucket, and finally ladled out onto cracked plastic trays at the software soup kitchen.
But a good idea never really dies. Sometimes it just takes a few re-incarnations to get it right. My projects have gone like this a lot. Cancelled one year for whatever reason, and brought back the next under a new guise. Sometimes you just have to know how to work the system. You have to realize that the project has to be more than just a good idea, it has to be a good idea that’s good for the company, and getting that right takes a lot of practice. And when it comes back you have to be ready for it, because it won’t often come back in the same shape or size. Good ideas live on because they inspire other people. Other people work under different conditions for somewhat different goals. Through them good ideas adapt and gain a new foothold.
So at some point you have to decide whether your loyalty lies with your current team, or with the idea. If you want to follow the idea, then by all means do so. I have, many times. It’s not an easy way to live your life, but is how you lead as opposed to being led. Eventually, you will hit a home run, knock the ball out of the park, and it will all be worth while.