Thoughts from the desk of MATHIAS EICHLER

Just Execute

Howard Schultz knows how to execute! At least he’s telling us what’s wrong with the Healthcare.gov website.

Which reminds me of the time when Starbucks rolled out their first exclusive CD release for a brand new band never had heard of… yeah, that didn’t go so well.

And today we hear Howard complaining on how hard it was┬áto own a basketball team. Why didn’t you just execute and fix things?

One of the hardest things about the launch of Healthcare.gov was the combination of a strict timeline, huge expectations and a fixed amount of cash. Can you tell me of a single large tech project over the last few years that has worked with those 3 constraints? Twitter grew slowly and had ‘fail whale’ problems for years. Google launched Google Plus and everyone flocked to it, just to abandon it faster than they arrived. mySpace relaunched and no one cares. Over half of Facebook’s new ideas are met with ridicule, Facebook Home anyone?

Big tech projects are hard. They are hard because the expectations is that on day one millions of people can access, use, navigate, and figure out a brand new infrastructure with a very small possibility for actual real world testing actually works.

Add to that government requirements, public process expectations and no ability to just quickly raise another funding round in the money drunk valley and you got yourself a recipe for disaster.

But not to fret, it’s mainly a public relations disaster right now. Tech can be fixed, software improved, code optimized and sites refreshed. This wasn’t millions down a drain, there is no need for costly product recalls in fear of a life-threatening malfunction.

It’s just code – just fix it, iterate, improve and ship.