This post is heavily inspired by the events of #RIPTwitter and the recent Fine Brothers fiasco, but it could apply to just about any company, product or person. When I say user base, I could easily mean customers or fan base.
There is a tendency for success to breed a certain level of arrogance. I think many of us have fallen victim to that in a small way from time to time. Now magnify the level success you might have encountered by several orders of magnitude and I think you will start to realise how disconnected most successful people and companies can become. As you become more disconnected, the normal feedback mechanisms start to break down. You are surrounded by hangers on who act like everything you say is the word of God. Without those feedback mechanisms holding you in check, it’s easy to spiral out of control. We see it again and again with popstars and actors. Recently we’ve seen examples of this in social media, as mentioned earlier.
In addition, companies are in the difficult position of having to be seen to grow and develop. If a company stands still, everyone, including the shareholders, believe they are dying. Balancing the needs of the shareholders and the user base is not an easy thing. Having said that, annoying your user base never pays off. Even if you think you’ve got away with it, it’s filed away ready to be resurrected the next time you annoy them. Twitter and the Fine Brothers have had the equivalent of an extramarital affair. As a result, some will choose to leave. Some will stay, pretending they can forgive and forget, but in reality it’s all just been stored in the bank for use later.
As I said at the start, this could be a post about any number of products, people or companies. It doesn’t matter who it is targeted at, the message is the same.
You can only kick a dog so many times before it bites back!
It seems I can’t turn around without getting myself involved in some discussion about Agile or DevOps these days.
I agree with many of the concepts and the aims of Agile, DevOps, Continuous Delivery etc. I find it hard to believe anyone wouldn’t see value in what they are trying to promote. As always, it is how people interpret and implement them that makes all the difference.
It’s just like religion. They all seem to be pretty sound at heart, but let a few lunatics and fundamentalists loose on them and next thing you know…
Things like Agile and DevOps have arisen to address perceived problems. If your organisation doesn’t suffer from those problems, you may not need to consider them, or you may already be doing something like them without knowing you are. 🙂
Your company can be agile, without following Scrum or Kanban. You will inevitably have arrived at similar patterns I guess. Likewise, your streamlining of process, automation of testing and deployment, good communication between silos (if present) may leave you wondering what all the DevOps fuss is about.
I am both a fan and hater of Agile and DevOps. I’m a fan of what they are able to achieve when used correctly. I’m a hater of all the bullshit that surrounds them!
Galo Balda has now joined the illustrious list of people who have said “.com” on one of my videos. 🙂
Don’t worry, I’ve not sold my soul to the cloud. I’m doing some talks at work and I’m doing these videos more as reference for my colleagues. Once this batch of videos is done, I’ll return to some less cloudy stuff. 🙂