Do we need outside funding? Maybe Brooke has an idea...

By Shawn Smith,

Published on Apr 13, 2011   —   2 min read

Some of you are probably wondering what I think about outside investment. Is it a good option for this project? Would it help speed us along, or would it give us a whole new set of problems. From my perspective, I can't say it wouldn't help us, but I also wouldn't say we're in the market.

Don't get me wrong. It all helps. But at this point, my team of developers has been working on this project for so long that nobody quite matches their level of expertise. Yes, we could bring on more people, but I think it will actually extend the time it takes to get our first release. Here's why.

Whenever you add another person to the team, that's one more person you have to train up to your standard. It's also known as Brooke's Law, named after the mythical man month. The idea is fairly straightforward. By adding more people to a software project, you only succeed in making it take longer. These things, no matter how you slice them, have a certain natural progression. You can't speed up childbirth to one month by assigning 9 women to the project. Nature just doesn't work that way.

And so it is with software. As our project gets increasingly complex, it's only going to be more obtuse to more people who might join our team. I personally don't have the time to train them, and neither do the devs. They're too busy um… you know… actually getting this thing built.

We're left in a funny sort of situation. I'm not so sure how outside dollars could help us. They might help in terms of marketing our product once it's built, but more money won't take our project from where it is to total completion. That's just not the way the world works. We're doing something completely different from our competition, so different that I'm quite cautious to call our competition the competition. It's going to take time.

Here we are now, pushing for that last month of birth. I know we probably can't go any faster than we already are, but I'm not rational enough to heed my own warnings. We've put so much time and effort into this, and I'm not about to lose it to someone with a very limited product. It just can't happen. I won't allow it to happen. If there is an exception to Brooke's law, I'm going to find it.

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