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Re: [XP] Re: A proven need for agility

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  • William Pietri
    ... You said this after mentioning the hit-driven nature of venture capital, and I thought you were looking at it from the perspective of an individual
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 5, 2007
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      Simon Jones wrote:
      > From an investors pov, venture is about getting the big hits not
      > finding 'adequate' businesses. You don't get big returns from
      > adequate and without the big hits you risk losses given that the
      > majority of businesses fail.
      >
      >
      >> Regardless, any one of those startups could be the big hit,
      >> so you have to act like all of them are. Thinking you can
      >> slack off because success is unlikely pretty much guarantees
      >> failure.
      >>
      >>
      >
      > Don't recall suggesting anyone slack off, just that its speculative
      > investment.

      Got it. The way I got the notion was from this sentence:

      > In which case then perhaps the value of an Agile team is somewhat
      > diminished.

      You said this after mentioning the hit-driven nature of venture capital,
      and I thought you were looking at it from the perspective of an
      individual VC-funded startup, which only has a one-in-ten-ish chance of
      being a big hit.

      I thought you were suggesting that because a given startup was not
      likely to be wildly successful, that somehow diminished the value of
      doing things well. That's a common fallacy, unfortunately. It's like not
      checking your lottery tickets because they're probably losers.

      But if you're taking a portfolio view, then agility-focused practices
      make at least as much sense for VC-funded companies as for larger
      companies, and possibly more. VCs invest money in startups because they
      can get a better return than investing in large companies. Startups
      benefit more from agility because most of their value is new business
      and innovation. That's rarely the case for large companies. Ergo, it
      seems like ROI on agile practices would be higher.

      Of course, agility isn't all we get from the techniques under the Agile
      banner. For a large company, I think it can be more useful to focus on
      benefits like cost reduction, risk reduction, and long-term
      maintainability rather than agility as such.

      Either way, I think both sorts of companies can benefit from Agile
      methods. Although it's interesting, I'm not sure the question of who
      benefits more is a useful one. It's not like there's a limited amount of
      unit tests that we have to allocate one place or the other. Anybody can
      learn to do this, and I think everybody should learn.

      William

      --
      William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
      Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
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