A lot was already written about the speed advantage of small businesses, in the time it takes the big established competitor to organize a pre-meeting to set the schedule for setting the agenda for a meeting to brainstorm if farther meetings are required to decide if a new product is worth exploring the small business can get the product to market.
This speed advantage is especially important because nobody really know the right thing to do, there is no way to find out how profitable a product will be or what the effect of a change to the web site will be without actually trying, so trying a lot of things quickly – and failing at most of them (as long as you learn from the results of those trials) – is much more valuable than any process that is designed to minimize the risk of doing the wrong things.
While a small business can be free from the bureaucracy and politics of large companies it is also free from all those employees sitting there all day long working, this means people is a small business have to much to do and there isn’t any free time for things like getting a new product to market or updating the web site.
I have a very long list of things I’d like to do, from minor web site updates to major development efforts – and I discovered that there’s nothing speedy about how much time it takes me to do those things.
The answer is to automate everything, in a big company it can be find to spend 30 minutes to manually deploy a new version of an application – in a small business you don’t have that luxury, deployment must be a one-click operation.
Also, you have to compromise, my content management system requires me to manually code new pages in HTML – because I couldn’t find a good enough editor – coding HTML by hand is tedious and error-prone so I find more cost-effective things to do and don’t write those pages.
The truth is that any crappy editor-generated HTML on the site is better than perfect hand-crafted HTML that’s trapped inside my head.
But I do learn from my mistakes, I spent a few hours adding Markdown support to my CMS (Markdown is an easier way to write HTML), I made sure deploying web sites updates to the site will be fast and effortless and I’m back on track to once again be a fast business.
posted @ Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:24 AM