Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

In the .Com days companies were built overnight and threw together web based systems without a lot of thought about architecture and planning. Many of them crashed and burned and left investors with empty pockets and sent day traders back to their full time jobs. Now we are in the Web 2.0 days and I see this pattern developing again. New websites are popping up everyday as the social networking craze races across the globe. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Web 2.0, especially the social networking aspects of it. But just like in the .Com days, there is a huge race to be the dominant web site like Twitter who attracts millions of users with the hopes of being bought by Google or Microsoft. Once again, architecture seems to be an afterthought. Twitter, who has being growing at a rapid pace, went from the web darling to the site that is always down in the course of a few short weeks. But this is a pattern that is not unique to Twitter. I have saved a few screenshots of cute little error messages that I frequently get when I use all of these hyped up web sites.

I wish these companies would spend as much time on capacity planning and architecture as they do coming up with "funny" error messages. They are only funny to me when they are rare. I have seen the whale way too many times and if the"Monster gets lost" one more time I won't be back.

When it comes to stability and reliability, there are no shortcuts. If you are not careful you might wind up like Twitter. Last month they looked like a multi million dollar website that was changing the world and on the verge of making its founders millionaires. Now they are struggling to keep their customers as their system fails to keep up with the demand. This has opened the door for some other startups like Friendfeed. Hopefully they invested in architecture so they don't run into the same issues when the masses flee Twitter and open up accounts on Friendfeed.

The moral of this story is that architecture is critical for sustaining success for any software product. You can pay now and build it right up front, or you can pay later and call in the firefighters and the PR folks.


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My favorite sayings

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"

"Before you build a better mouse trap, make sure you have some mice"