We’ve been doing a ton of cool stuff at Learning Pool recently including replacing a lot of our core technology with more up to date, more flexible and more usable solutions for our customers. This is always an interesting conversation because there’s always a tendency to continuously build on top of what went before and one of the things I’ve discussed with the team on at least 6 occasions in the last month or so is about the argument that we should somehow recreate something that used to be there and then build the new thing on top of that.
Here are my reasons for thinking this is a bad idea:
- It assumes that the thing we currently have works and is great. This is not always the case and whatever it was, it was probably built in a hurry or with limited technology. Having time and better technology does not make the case to maintain anything;
- If you keep building on the same platform, nothing ever changes…. not really. That means that customers don’t get the opportunity to benefit from innovation, creativity and smarter thinking;
- It assumes that customers like what is already there. While that is sometimes the case its not always true so shouldn’t we just ask them?;
- It takes ages… and even for a post start up business like Learning Pool, time is at a complete premium
My starting point in these conversations is always to think of this like my garage. My garage is a complete and unholy mess. It’s full of kids toys, gardening stuff (who knows why), kites and wedding presents that didn’t make the grade. Honestly, there’s some awful stuff in there. About once a year I finally relent and reorganise the garage. It takes a few hours but gives me a sense of unusual satisfaction when it’s done.
Here’s how I approach it:
- I take everything outside into the rain so I can see the whole floor;
- I clean out the remaining shell, invariably finding some stuff that I’d been looking for for ages;
- I start to put things back in in a way that makes sense and will be easy to get that stuff back out – the kites go in first (sad face) and the kids bikes go in last. The lawnmower goes somewhere in the middle
- I look at what’s left and ‘organise’ it into the bin
It’s a fool proof system and one that I’m ‘convincing’ the team to put in place. If you’re reading this and your a Learning Pool customer you can blame this if something’s just gone missing. Hopefully though you’ll like what we’ve done with the place along the way!
Oh, and if anyone wants some carriage clocks… I have plenty!