VI #044: 1 Simple Principle to Navigate Your Complex Tech Decisions
Read time: 2 minutes
Engineering and tech architecture challenges, much like business problems, rarely come with a one-size-fits-all solution.
Consider the complexity of scaling a tech stack. There’s no singular approach suitable for all companies to ensure your architecture will support growth. The variety of programming languages, databases, and cloud services is staggering, and each decision branches into a myriad of possibilities and potential outcomes.
And the wild thing is, several paths can lead to success.
But the pivotal question remains: which solution is the right fit... for your company?
To borrow wisdom from the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
The “how do we build this” queries I get from CEOs and founders are often tactical. And they’re typically lacking the one critical thing needed to offer a good answer: details about the strategy.
Pursuing technical options without a strategy is a bit like navigating a crossroads blindfolded. Any direction could be correct—or not. It all depends on the desired destination.
I ran into this a lot as an engineering leader. For instance, at a Fortune 500 company, I helped architect a robust, low-code development platform to deliver their next-gen enterprise solution globally. We chose a flexible, metadata-driven design to cater to their diverse client needs worldwide, in line with their long-term vision, pursuing a huge market opportunity and with significant resources at our disposal for the major initiative.
In contrast, while working with a smaller digital media company which had global aspirations also, I helped them create a leaner approach to globalization and internationalization. Their users’ simpler needs and the company’s limited resources meant we needed to take a more streamlined approach.
This is why one of my mentors always said, “Tactics follow strategy.”
The best engineering solutions for one organization may spell disaster for another. And the right answer for your company today might be wrong two a year or two from now if the strategy changes.
This is the lens to use on any advice you may get from someone who doesn’t know your exact strategy. Without this knowledge, it's impossible to know if it's right... for you.
In short, working with a tech architect who has the necessary expertise and takes the time and effort to understand your company's unique position and long-term objectives is crucial.
They can help you build not only a functional solution for today's needs but one that anticipates and supports your future goals to bring your broader business vision to life.
That’s all for today, I hope this helps.
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