Skip to main content

A bit of time-pressure is needed in all work. You need a bit of pace to get things across the line. Without a bit of inertia, you’d fall behind and miss crucial opportunities.

But in tech, speed has come to be valued in itself. Regardless of output quality, speed seems to represent success, indicating positive business health. Pace is lauded for its own sake, yet in many cases pace comes at the expense of all else (think: quality, outcome, sanity.)

How often do you hear these speed-related phrases in tech?

Rapid deployment

Compared to these quality-related ones?

Fully tested
Organic growth

The Drivers Of Pace: Competition & Finance

Competition drives pace in the tech industry. “Done is better than perfect” was the philosophy of Facebook’s growth phase. Why? Because they had to be first.

First to create the new product. First to capture an emerging market. First to earn that all-important critical mass of users.

Finance, of course, perpetuates the need for speed even further. Investors, angels and shareholders want ‘rapid ROI’, pushing revenue-earning products through to earn themselves sizable product.

Both these factors – competition and financial pressure – are said to ‘inspire’ and necessitate progress. Yet, in encouraging speed above all else, they hamper creativity.

As tech markets mature, it’s creativity and quality that will earn success. Being first to dominate a market is certainly worth fighting for, but a poorly-built product, hampered by speed, is open to challengers.

The Time-Pressure Myth: Push Back!

At all levels of tech companies, time feels like a constant pressure.

Is it?

Or is it actually that we’ve become so used to the idea that the tech industry is “rapid growth” and “disruptive” that to be anything other than frenetically fast would be foolish?

This myth – far and beyond real time pressures – sweeps us away, encouraging product managers to set needlessly tight deadlines, developers to ship code before it’s ready, and CEOs to launch ventures untested and poorly planned.

It’s a myth that’s largely to blame for the 100,000’s of poorly-built tech products that litter the internet.

Push back against the myth. Take things slower. Reject tight deadlines. Allow time for experimentation, for creativity and for failure. If a task seems do-able in 2 days, pitch for 3 and see how much better you can perform.

But won’t the competition steal a march?

Won’t the shareholders lose their patience?

Perhaps. But let them do what they like. You know what’s best for your product. Stick to that, and don’t let the time-pressure myth get in the way.

Leave a Reply