Creators don’t like to optimize. Coders don’t like bug-fixing; most painters prefer the single, perfect stroke; and all writers I know despise editing. Even God chose to, rather than optimize Himself, instill-a self-optimizing feature: free will. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Rarely does the creative spark result in the perfect fire with some fanning of its nascent flame. How to effectively elicit such fanning is a conundrum for many involved in the art of creation. In my writing, I use all sorts of optimization whips and carrots, many of which I discuss in my Readers & Editrs post. In my entrepreneurial endeavors, where I don’t control the totality of the creation, it’s not so easy.
Various media require different levels and approaches to optimization. Overworking a watercolor painting results in a blurry mess while in many cases, the amount of editorial time spent on a feature film far outweighs the original creation of the script. In fact, Hollywood is one of the few creative industries that honors optimization (adaptation, editing, directing, and in some sense, acting) over original creation.
In the technology start-up world, optimization has not yet achieved such cred. The limelight shines brightly on innovation. And yet so often innovation without optimization leads to first-to-market failures that can’t sustain their wow factor because competition rushes in to optimize while the innovator struggles with the support burden of a shoddy product or service.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this blog other than to advise technology entrepreneurs to attempt a dual culture of innovation and optimization. Elevate the respect for and implementation of product management and QA to the same level as engineering. Dare I risk such blasphemy. Given the way I started this blog, why stop now.