1 percent inspiration

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Thomas A. Edison

I’m not sure that Edison got the numbers quite right, whereby the following ratio is implied:

  • 1% = thinking
  • 99% = doing

but his point that “doing far outweighs theorising” has its merits in OSS implementations.

One example is sand-pit environments. In an earlier post about Rapid Prototyping, the concept of having a highly functional pre-production environment was recommended. This allows the OSS implementation team to put the “out of the box” solution in place and trial different configuration changes to give the end customer and/or user a real view of the look and feel of the solution.

Without this tangible product experience, it is difficult for the customer / user to visualise what the nuances of the end result will look like. You tend to get much more valuable feedback from users who have experienced a working system than you do from design documents.

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