I fought a couple of days to get myself an account to Qaiku, a rather new service rising from the ‘ashes of Jaiku’. The development process is still on-going, but there are already really neat features available. The development team was awesome in solving the problem behind my registration, and finally succeeded. This got me thinking about how different and challenging the developing models in an online services can be, and why some flowers grow and other wither?
No wonder that sometimes business angels get confused when they put money to some promising looking project, but the project fails. No wonder that sometimes a good looking project won’t get funding and nothing ever comes of it.
The dialogue is sometimes hard. It’s hard to find people who can speak the multiple languages startups and others alike demand; the development slang, the business slang, the whatever slang. Enthusiasm, management and money rarely speak the same language.
A project needs people who have their heads in the clouds and their feet knee deep in the financial concrete. It’s a cold fact that you eventually need funding when trying to do something big, and then you have to have someone able to speak with everyone in the project.
But people should remember one thing; if there wasn’t the enthusiasm the people who have started it, there wouldn’t be anything at all. And if the passion runs out, the development people can rather quickly turn their eyes towards other things – developing apps and services can be a lot quicker than it ever was, and in some parts the open source solutions have made it even easier.
So, I believe that most times you cannot blame the developers for ruining the process. The second to none passion and dedication you often see in an online community or in a game design team just can’t do that. People work round hours without sleep and try to get all the bugs and other things work. So the fault can’t be there and this is something the management team should understand.
Most likely the fault lies in the project management. It really doesn’t matter how hard people work around the project if the guidelines aren’t clear for all. You can dig a ditch as fast as you can, but there’s no use if you are digging it to the wrong direction. “Let’s dig in every direction!” isn’t a strong guideline.
So, someone should tell everyone where to dig, in multiple languages. The message is the key and how you deliver it in a way that everyone understand it and bind their selves to it.
In the end all comes to this; Everyone have good ideas, multiple of them. Everyone can doodle and everyone can daydream; but the ones to prevail are the ones who see the big picture [and the little steps it’s made of] and manage things.
I wish best of luck to all those web pioneers and who dare to take chances with startups and alike. It’s much easier to work from something already ‘real’ than reach to the unknown.