Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Start-ups and puzzles.

I think I am a detail person. I can get lost in details, making sure that everything is just the way it should be. Even the innocuous areas are covered and catered for.
Then I like to step back, often before I have finished the task in hand too. I step back to gain a glint of context. To make sure that the perspective is right, and this is when I go a little crazy.
One by one, I see the related tasks pop into view. All require and deserve the care and attention that I have been giving my current task. I see it all and know that it is an incredulous task. Not merely daunting but soul shattering.

Slightly over the top, I’m sure I am however this can often stop me in my tracks.
Why though should it affect me this way? It’s a common problem surely? Undoubtedly it is, I’m just not sure I accept the common solution for the common problem.
A mammoth task is normally always broken down into smaller and smaller ‘bite size’ chunks to make the task more palatable. Sure, this is a fine solution and will always have application. If one person takes control, they can easily maintain perspective, and easily step out of the problem and make sure they are still on track.
The problem I have is when it gets to that next stage, when it becomes too much for one person. The chunks seem to get smaller and smaller the more complex the overall task and before you know it the context is thoroughly lost.

I think an example of this is something we have been seeing a lot of recently. I’m thinking about when a small start-up rapidly surpasses a massive corporation. I believe that a corporation gets so diluted that it can no longer see the complete problem. At which point it takes a small start-up to identify the problem that the corporation are not addressing and solve it quickly. They are in a position where the context is fresh on their mind. Everyone is eager to make a difference and they know their piece of the puzzle intimately and know that once it is complete, how it will fit with the rest. The main problem after the start-up is established is of course to stay on top. Often with the shear weight of that task the new kids on the block can fall apart. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day?
Can you think of a time when a problem has been broken down so far that its constituent pieces can no longer be related to each other?

Yours, whilst trying to perfect pesky puzzle pieces,


PS: not all tasks overwhelm me like that, just sometimes I feel the delay whilst I try to process it all…