“When a project appears to be in limbo, in a permanent holding pattern, where sunk costs meet opportunity costs, where no one can figure out what to do…
Cancel it with a week’s notice.
One of two things will happen:
A. A surge of support and innovation will arrive, and it won’t be stuck any more.
B. You’ll follow through and cancel it, and you won’t be stuck any more.
It costs focus and momentum to carry around the stalled. Let it go.”
Seth Godin on his blog here.
OSS projects have a tendency to get so big and complex and with so many dependencies that they can stagnate. When projects stagnate, we have a tendency of treating them with contempt or cynicism don’t we? We treat them this way even when we’re involved, so you know that outsiders are treating them with even more contempt and cynicism.
So Seth’s concept is an interesting one. I haven’t tried his technique before.
Have you? Did it achieve your desired outcomes?
Did it rally the troops? Did it clear the way for assignment of resources onto better projects, Darwinian-style? Or did it just throw away the last vestiges of momentum and all sunk costs?