Half-Bit Software

In Case of Suck. . .

…break face.

One of the scariest feelings ever, when doing something new or creative, involves the finished product.  I mean, what if it’s no good?  All that time and effort, wasted!  For productivity apps, uselessness is terrible.  For business apps, uptime and value for money are key.  For games, that magic F-word, Fun, is critical.  But, hell, how do you know if your stuff sucks or not?  Will it just feel right, or is there something more to it than that?

Really, unless you’re smart about getting feedback early and often, it probably will suck.  It’ll probably suck more than you could possibly imagine, and it’ll make you hate life, yourself, and everything in between.  But that’s okay, because it’s infinitely better to have something that exists right now and sucks than a bag of hot wind (Unless, of course, a bag of hot wind was what you were making).  What exists, which might be the Worst Suck Ever, is okay, precisely because it sucks.  The Worst Suck Ever is telling you, probably in big glowing words, exactly what you should take out, fix or add.  Neat!

The worst case scenario is that the WSE is actually such a horrible, broken, stupid idea that no amount of suck-removal could possibly make it good.  Which, hey, isn’t all that bad, either.  There absolutely has to be something of value in there.  Maybe you learned a new technique, or had fun doing it, or, hell, eliminated that idea.  Some of the prettiest flowers sprout from the most pungent manure.

Unsalvageable is pretty terrible, but the true kiss of death is really believing your own bullshit.  ”Who cares what my friends think?  My Hoozit is awesome!  Screw those guys, they’re just jealous!”  Yeah, maybe.  Or you might be a colossal jerk, and your friends are looking out for you, being polite enough to tell you that maybe this just isn’t the best you can do.  They might have enough tact not to tell you that you’ve built the latest Worst Suck Ever, but if you ask them, they’ll probably be happy to tell you what they don’t like about it, and why they think it sucks.

Understand the suck, then kick it to the curb.