Geek Culture
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Geek Culture

Avoiding the Billion-Dollar Mistake Managers and Engineers Make

This mistake is costing your organization a lot in money, engineering hours, and potential growth

Key Highlights

  1. What is the Mistake- This is going to shock a lot of you. The mistake is blindly trying to engineer better solutions when you have a currently functional solution. Don’t click off just yet. There is a reason this is bad.
  2. Why is this a mistake- Engineering is hard. And very expensive. This is why you’re paid so much for it. A lot of the time putting money into improving your product by improving the engineering will lead to a lot of costs (especially when your product is already functioning reasonably well). You would be much better off focusing on the context surrounding the problem, as opposed to the problem itself.
  3. What this means- If you are improving the service for users, instead of just chasing metrics, look for ways to change the user experience. If you’re building tools to help businesses, don’t just fix an issue (high costs, lag, etc) by engineering better products. Look at the context surrounding the problem. You might be able to solve the root in a much cheaper way. I will give you some of my favorite tips to help you solve the problem better.
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Why Perfect Engineering is a Billion-Dollar Mistake

How to Avoid this Mistake

  1. Understand the end user- Your platform isn’t great if it hits metrics. It is great if the end users engage in a way that you can profit from. Thus you should spend a lot of time understanding your end user. Then you can create solutions that will help the user engage better. My favorite examples of this are the ‘@’ feature on Twitter (which created a new meta) and Instagrams like button. Both of these features were relatively simple to implement. Both allowed the end user to engage with the platforms in a much deeper way. TikTok did something similar. It stood out in a crowded social media market by giving the end user something that we all deeply crave- virality. TikTok made it very easy for someone to go viral, driving tons of people onto the platform. They didn’t have to compete on better recommendations, features, or content (all much harder to achieve). If you take some time to understand your end user, you will find all kinds of avenues for making things better. Some of these will be things that can be implemented simply.
  2. Look to other people- There is also great utility in looking at your competitors or people that have achieved what you want. Their learnings and experiences can teach you a lot. Social Media companies are notorious for copying each other when they see features that work. All LinkedIn influencers have shockingly similar life experiences. YouTubers all make similar faces in their thumbnails. The list goes on. However, you can take things a step beyond. By learning about ideas/best practices in other domains, you will spot missing pieces in your domain/projects.
  3. Understand the Roots of the Problem- Sometimes when you’re dealing with an issue, it is prudent to take a step back to understand the issue holistically. What is causing the issue? Is the issue experienced consistent across all users or just a few of them? How does this issue play into the larger system? This is what our super engineer did to gain his rapid promotion. Understanding the problem in the broader context can lead to you finding cost-effective solutions for it.

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Devansh- Machine Learning Made Simple

Deep Insights about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Software Engineering, and the Tech Industry. Follow me to come out on top