Well-Solved Problems

March 5, 2015

Blog | Technology | Well-Solved Problems
Well-Solved Problems

Like many programmers, entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives, I’m a natural tinkerer.  I like to get under the hood and see how things work, change it up a little, and maybe get a better result. Sometimes the outcome is something really special, or simply a deeper understanding of how stuff works.  The result can also be lost time, or a broken thing. There’s a cost involved with tinkering. Learning and exploring are powerful and compelling experiences, but sometimes if you need to solve a problem, tinkering is the most expensive path.


Food for Thought

 


Over brunch last weekend with a friend and colleague, the conversation turned to business solutions. My friend, a former HP exec who doesn’t waste words, interjected, “If someone else has found a solution to your problem, buy it.”   That’s a message we all understand on some level, but he led with it.  And then he stopped talking.

 

 

Buy-in doesn’t necessarily mean spending money.  Sometimes it’s a matter of changing your point of view. That’s a big order for even one person. Change at the organizational level? That requires a mental, emotional, and cultural shift… effort and time.  Then, it takes maintenance and evangelism.


Right now, there are thousands of apps that solve both personal and business needs –  from content publishing and marketing automation, to project management and video conferencing. All were designed to keep you close to friends and coworkers, and help you wrangle your responsibilities. They are also often affordable and easy to use, so the idea of building your own from scratch seems crazy. 


Sadly, businesses often recreate their own versions of mature solutions on a regular basis because they believe there is some intrinsic value in building it “in house.” The truth is: many of your business challenges are likely shared and have been successfully solved by others.  Learn how they solved them and save yourself some time. The solution to your challenge may be a click away.


Dan Clouse

Senior Developer
Tags
  • Best Practices
  • Productivity

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