Embrace Constraints or “…shank somebody…”

I just finished reading Rework by 37Signals and read the best quote ever in a business related book (maybe in any book) "Now we're not saying you should go out and shank somebody…" 

Their point was don't let constraints limit you.  What can you do with what you have?  Just like prisoners who make weapons out of soap or a spoon. They make do with what they have at hand.  It's not an excuse that you don't have enough time or money or resources.  No one does!  Sometimes you have to think creatively to come up with a way to get the job done.  Can you keep your day job and work on "your work" at night? Most network TV is crap now anyway. Is that hour of American Idol worth it?

A second point was limited resources could be a good thing. It makes you focus on what is important, really important. What do you have to have versus what would be nice to have?  And is it worth supporting if you do build it? Every feature adds complexity, testing time, and maintenance. And don't forget the time required for training and support on that new feature.

So, like Rework states, embrace your constraints! It's not always the worse thing and could be a benefit if used properly.

Author: yourcto

Senior Software Eng Exec / VP Product Management - LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/phillsea