Monday 30 December 2013

The Lada Niva Paradox

So you have a product, or a feature, built as it was designed time ago.

This product of yours, has some known glitches, failures, known bugs or distortion of perceived reality, whatever you want to call it.

And when you try to work on a fix, it happens that you are limited by the original design, and because the product was built this way, the fix you want to do either is not possible or it would create collateral failures that you don't want to add to your product.

I like to call this the Lada Niva Paradox.

The Lada Niva is a 4x4 Off-road car designed and produced by the Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ. They started producing it in 1979 but you can still get a brand new one as they are still being built somewhere. The product did evolve along this time, the front turning lights changed from round to square, the engine changed from a 1600 with carburettors to a 1500 with fuel injection, the steering went assisted, and the brakes now have ABS... Still no airbag,

But would you buy one? Well, I would not, because I don't need such a car, and there are plenty other models that have better features from my point of view.

Then, why do they still produce it? Because for somebody it is still useful and affordable enough to go and buy one.

But if your product, or feature, still looks like a Lada Niva... instead of waiting for some farmer from Gorodovikovo to come and buy you one, because (you like to think that) it is good enough.
Maybe you should think about why are you still producing Lada Nivas, and how deep is your incapability of evolving the product, and what do you want to do about it.

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