Beware the Bleeding Edge

Posted by on Mar 13, 2009 in Production | Comments Off on Beware the Bleeding Edge

A clean shave

A clean shave

A colleague wrote me recently and asked me if I knew anybody who did development for a certain open source platform. I was not overly familiar with it and despite a seemingly robust community of supporters it is not a huge community. I put out a tweet, and put out some direct notes to some of my developer friends and unfortunately, got nothing back.

This incident has proved educational to me: beware of the bleeding edge. When producing work, and executing projects the availability of talent to help you finish the job must be taken into account. Now the circumstances around this situation were fairly extreme, but all projects are a human endeavor, and when dealing with humans there is no telling what situations may arise.

I once had a client, a true innovator in their sector (the innovator in their sector, actually) but when planning marketing campaigns, and discussing the technology to use for them they preferred that their units work — both technically and from the perspective of ROI — rather than be technological feats (I still agree with this, if it makes sense for the brand and its goals then go rad, but never do cool for the sake of cool). We used to joke that they wanted to be first as long as someone else went before them. All jokling aside we did do some bleeding edge campaigns for them, but we worked closely with our vendors to ensure success. I commend my colleague and his company for their use of this young, cool, interesting platform. They were hamstrung at the last moment by a one in a million scenario. Unfortunately, that’s the margin for error on the bleeding edge.