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Creation vs Maintenance

Last updated December 25, 2021

So much of today’s society revolves around creating new things rather than maintaining existing things. Yet, the two go hand in hand - innovation without the ability to scale and maintain is frivolous, and maintenance without innovation is stagnation.

Almost no buildings adapt well. They’re designed not to adapt; also budgeted and financed not to, constructed not to, administered not to, maintained not to, regulated and taxed not to, even remodelled not to. But all buildings (…) adapt anyway, however poorly, because the usages in and around them are changing constantly. – Stewart Brand

There is importance in indigenous knowledge and traditional knowledge.

Web3: shouldering the cost of maintenance among the users rather than centralizing it with the creators

Do Eastern vs Western cultures have diff takes on this? “Over the course of the 20th century, open societies that celebrated diversity, novelty, and progress performed better than closed societies that defended uniformity and order.”

MVP vs Product

Source

Not just building out an initial system, but also about how maintainable and scalable the system is for the foreseeable future.

Businesses that actually care about turning a profit will spend a lot of time (hence, a lot of engineers) working on optimizing systems, even if an MVP for the system could have been built in a weekend.

This reminds me of a common fallacy we see in unreliable systems, where people build the happy path with the idea that the happy path is the “real” work, and that error handling can be tacked on later. For reliable systems, error handling is more work than the happy path. The same thing is true for large services – all of this stuff that people don’t think of as “real” work is more work than the core service

On shifting the focus too quickly

“One important topic of conversation is the danger of moving too triumphantly from innovation to maintenance. There is no point in keeping the practice of hero-worship that merely changes the cast of heroes without confronting some of the deeper problems underlying the innovation obsession.”


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