Kill the whales, chop down the rain forst.

It’s not about where you’re going, it’s about the route.

Algae provides this planet with oxygen. So let’s kill the whales who eat the algae. We can do it using wooden spears from the rainforest. We can further encourage the development of algae by melting the icecaps using good old co2 emissions. How? Burn the forests.

Makes perfect sense. Or does it?

Now I am no tree huger. I like my car and I like my electricity. But some things even if they make perfect sense on paper are worth ignoring. As humans our most important goal is to survive. Keeping this planet tidy is not on the path to survival. We can, and we do survive without it. It makes perfect sense to do just what we need to survive.

If my first statement has any truth in it, it still doesn’t make sense to follow. Even if it would ensure the survival of the human race.

The route you’re taking is about the scenery, not the tarmac

On top of the world. Sort-ofI am being selfish here. I want to enjoy the route. Black tarmac doesn’t do it to me. Not even from a driving/riding perspective. Lord knows I enjoy a good twisty road. But the twist doesn’t come from the tarmac, it comes from the scenery, from the earth. I don’t really care how long it takes a nylon bag to decompose. I just don’t want it blocking the view as I blitz downhill on my bicycle. Climbing a 25km long mountain is not easy. Heck, it hurts. But what makes it fun and me want to do it is the road up; the twists, the turns, the scenery when I look down. This is what I remember from the climb. Not the parking lot or the coffee shop at the top, but rather the breathtaking views.

What am I on about?

This week I delivered a presentation to the CEO of our glorious company. As I believe the presentation is made not from Power-Point slides but rather made of my natural charisma and exceptional good looks. I needed to be sure that I pack loads of charisma. Good looks come for free. So I had  to research some stuff. Sometimes you know things are right, but when you are put in a situation in-front of the high brass of the company, it is good to have some hard numbers and quotes of smart people to rely on.

How did it go? Haven’t you realised yet how great my natural charisma is? And my good looks?

To be honest, it went great. Nothing worse when you talk than everyone being really quiet. So I was a bit nervous until the first question was fired, until the first challenge. Once that was brushed aside by my ocean of knowledge I was cruising. The challenges kept on coming and I kept sailing through.

But the presentation, for me, was not about the presentation; it was about the route. About diving into preparing it, three days of doing serious research. In retrospect I didn’t need to do all that, as you’ve guessed my charisma and good looks were enough. But I enjoyed preparing, I enjoyed reading old and new articles.

How good did I do from the company’s perspective still remains to be seen. I managed to unhinge a very large rock. Will it roll and gather momentum or just fall on my head still blocking the road remains to be seen.

Important things are often not flashy

I was making the presentation on what the evolution of our product should look like. Where should we go and how do we get there. We as a company have been preoccupied with the flashy bit. Writing iPhone app that would link to ours, sparkling widgets and all sort of techi stuff.

But these flashy things are fun but not really important. I was trying to make a case for doing work that is neither glorious nor pretty. But it makes sense. Now, just because something makes sense doesn’t make it right, as my first sentence tries to convey. Going deep into our application and digging there can have horrible consequences. I was treading on a thin icy surface. I needed to make sure that though my case makes sense it also packs guarantees that this is the right thing to do. That the route I suggest has great scenery. For a company, great scenery means money.

Did I succeed? I think so. I’ll keep you posted.


About snailonabike
I cycle, I run, I live, I have a family, I write code for a living, I have an opinion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: