Chapter 5 – Getting Real

September 24, 2008

This is the summary of Chapter 5 of ‘Getting Real’.

  • Half, Not Half-Assed – Build half a product, not a half-ass product
  • It Just Doesn’t Matter – Essentials only
  • Start With No – Make features work hard to be implemented
  • Hidden Costs – Expose the price of new features
  • Can You Handle It? -Build something you can manage
  • Human Solutions – Build software for general concepts and encourage people to create their own solutions
  • Forget Feature Requests – Let your customers remind you what’s important
  • Hold the Mayo – Ask people what they don’t want

Here’s what I’ve learned so far in the chapter.

Don’t add to much ideas in creating an application. Better stick with the original plan and focus more on it. Don’t just add and add. Learn to think and better yet, analyze first before you add something.

Stick to what’s truly essential.


Learn to prioritize parts that can be doable in time being. Then later, finished those ‘hard’ ones after the settled goal is accomplished.

We must manage ourselves in keeping milestones intact. It may serve as a basis for our decision making and for our future reference. Start to build a not just a good foundation, but a better one. Once built, you could eventually spice up some features or applications for your system.

Sometimes we’re are too aggressive in giving out the best feature for our clients. But the question is – is it really important. We tend to impress other people with our works yet we cannot appreciated it the most. Sophisticated and dynamic pictures – does it really matter?

The author taught me valuable lesson – don’t waste my time don’t things that just don’t matter. What is important is how productive and effective you are in building applications for your customers. Work smart – not harder. We must keep that in mind.

It is essential in a project to include what you call hidden costs. It will serve you as a basis while doing your projects. Letting your clients know your real costs would make your work at ease – without worrying that you’ll be spending a lot of money, but sooner will be returned to you making a break even.

Knowing hidden costs would also lessen loss on your part, especially when it comes to profit.

It is also important to consider your capability to do something. Remember, pushing yourself too far may kill. What you should do is learn to control yourself – create something that is feasible enough and doable enough. You must also consider four things, mainly: Time, Cost, Scope and Quality.

Don’t do things that can be handle by your bare hands. Create something that people will try to experiment on – let them explore on different things. They would eventually find a way to solve their issues among themselves. Let them to be productive and independent – too much reliance of a customer fails in making good solution. Let them learn.

Customers want everything under the sun.


This is definitely true. People continue demanding on what they want – they requests for improvements, additional features, and remove something from the system. But we should remember to remind them what IS really important.

[Innovation] comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.

—Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple (from The Seed of Apple’s Innovation)

Sometimes, I is better to just say no. This preserves yourself in focusing on the vision of creating your product for your customers.

I would like to share something – a movie that will come out this Christmas.

Will you say NO or will you say YES? Think about it.


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