Friday, 16 February 2007

Strategy

I've found myself thinking a lot about the importance of strategy recently. With limited time, a good strategy is an important ingredient to success.

I believe I learnt about strategy as a child, when playing 'Connect 4'. I became champion of champions and particularly enjoyed winning a round of 3 against a young man you was truly determined not to let a child less than 1/3rd his age beat him at what he thought would be a piece of cake - my reward, a well earned bottle of Coca Cola!

My strength lay in my freedom to think in detail about the moves, without the hindrance of more pressing issues that play on one's mind in adulthood. I had the patience to consider carefully what would happen if I was to: place my piece there, then he would go there, and I would go there and he would go there - and so on - and no that wasn't a good idea, since he would get that row of 4 at the end of the game - so let's try a different route - my poor opponents would be bored silly, but you could rest assured that I would always win in the end.

I don't have that much patience now - even I would get bored. I have so many ideas now that I am often tempted to just get a move on and throw myself into my code and chuck out new functionality as quickly as possible - but in reality I would probably only tie myself in knots should I follow such impulses. Fortunately I have dishes to wash and clothes to dry which help me to slow down a notch and consider carefully my strategy.

There's no point spending time developing great functionality that attracts thousands to my site if I do not first make sure the performance of my website is optimal - and there's no point spending time on a big marketing campaign until I have got a few steps ahead on the functionality - my half baked ideas would simply be copied and I would be left far behind. Everything has its place, down to the tiny details when considering the better way to write a line of code. Sure I get things messed up a little along the way - but keeping a big STRATEGY reminder at the front of my mind - which I can picture just floating above my desk - I believe gives me an edge that is essential if I am to compete with the big guys.

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