The (Unofficial) ITWorx Technical Architecture Blog

Reverse Engineering Success

Posted by archworx on November 13, 2006

Disclaimer: Not a Tech Post

I was reading this ( post by Scott Adams when I remembered a strange concept I came to realize a few years ago…

Basically, in Scott’s blog post he discusses a simple idea, that when he set his mind to reach a certain goal, he made it. No matter how seemingly difficult that goal was. For example he decided he would be the valedictorian of his class and he made it. He decided he wanted to become a successful syndicated cartoonist, and now he is the guy behind Dilbert.

If you think about it – it is a very powerful idea. Set your sights for incredibly high goals… and actually achieve them!

In reality, the idea of reaching success is not necessarily based on pure magic. Obviously there are a lot of factors that influence your journey, but the bare truth is that there is a lot that lies directly within your own hands that can greatly propel your progress through life.

I’ll give you a quick example – I used to love creative writing, and thought I’d do well in my English classes at school, but I rarely got the A’s I thought I deserved. I realized one day that there was a fundamental difference between my style and my instructor’s style. One day, I decided to immitate his style, and to my shock, I finally got my long anticipated A.

I quickly dismissed this experiment as unethical, and more importantly to me, not self-gratifying, and never did it again for many years to come. I found happiness in writing in my style, not in Mr. Brown’s.

This same situation happened to me over and over again, until I finally graduated and started working in a software company. Most people who work in software services will tell you that the most important thing you need to get straight is your Software Requirements Specifications!

If you ignore what the client wants, and instead deliver what you prefer or think makes more sense, you’re booking a one way ticket out of the company. Yet, inspite of how easy this seems at first, the reality is that in the software industry, convincing techies to actually do what someone else wants is extremely difficult.

This post is just a primer about a set of thoughts that are spinning around my mind at the time being. It will probably take me a long time before I’m done with them, if I ever am. Today I just wanted to establish the crucial fact that success, in principle can actually be easily attainable if you have the end in mind.

Such a simple sentence, but believe me, it is this elementary deception that is the key difference between performing reasonably well, and delivering exceptionally stellar results.

Stay tuned for the next rant, and till then, make sure you understand your “requirements”!


One Response to “Reverse Engineering Success”

  1. archworx said

    Some comments:
    1. Copying style is not unethical, some of the best software companies in the world do that :).
    2. I totally agree with setting the end in mind before you start so things don’t get out of control.


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