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Posted on: Friday, 28 August 2009 by Rajiv Popat

Words Of Wisdom From A Story Teller.

At one of the sales meeting during my work at Multiplitaxion Inc; I am seated across a gentleman; who shall be remained unnamed; but who; for the purposes of this post; we shall refer to as Jack. It turns out; Jack has made millions with this marketing and story-telling skills. Jack; besides talking about his project needs; is also passing on words of wisdom like a wise marketing jedi teaching his young Padawan.

He begins the meeting with an answer to the question which is --- why does he want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a project which is basically what he calls a 'fun-project'.

Even though I do not remember the exact words; he answers the question with a rather interesting answer which leaves a deep impact on me. It is exactly the kind of answer I would expect from someone I was working with.

When asked the question; he answers after a thoughtful pause:

I don't want to spend so much money on this project in anticipation of a huge return. I want spend money on this project because it seems like an interesting problem to solve. I want to work with the right people and I want to have fun doing that.

You know --- I don't know why they do; and I do not even know if I am the right person to be answering this question; but every now and then a few college students ask me how I got so successful in my life and I tell them the only way to get successful is to find something that you are really obsessed with doing. Something that you would absolutely love doing and then doing that for the rest of you life.

There are two benefits to doing this. First is that you absolutely love doing it so you will not get sick or tired of doing it for years (which is what it takes for anything to be successful); second is that because you love doing it, you will probably put in a little bit of an extra effort than everyone around you. That 'extra' is what will set you apart and make you noticeable amongst a crowd.

I can't say I agreed to everything the guy said in that meeting; but as far as these words of wisdom were concerned; they were simple; accurate and right on target.  Observe any genuine builder out there and two traits will become rather evident. 

Most genuine builders out there have relentless passion and love for what they do. It is this obsession that makes consistency; which is otherwise a very hard quality; relatively and possibly easy to achieve.

It is the same relentless passion and obsession for what they do that keeps gently nudging genuine builders to strive for more and put in a 'little bit of extra' in everything they build.

A Little Extra

When it comes to software development we all know how easy it is to be ninety percent done. It is completing the other ten percent with class that separates veteran builders from wannabes. It is all about putting in that little-bit-of-an-extra-effort and giving that little-bit-of-an-extra-touch.

This little-extra is what is usually required to cross the dip. It is what results in overnight-success-after-years-of-effort. It is what separates a blu from being yet-another-twitter client; a tortoise-svn-client from being yet another SVN-client and a project-path from being a yet another task-list cum project management tool.

Now; here is a task for you dear reader. Go review your products and try to do an honest self assessment on them.

Are you absolutely loving the act of building these products?

Are you having fun every day at work?

Are you just building me-too products?

Or are you leaving the mark of a genuine builder on your product by putting in a little-bit-extra into it?

Which one of the two approaches does your organization or work environment expect and encourage you to take; dear reader?

Discuss.

Note: This article is a part of a Work In Progress Book. To Read connected articles read the Builders At Work category of this blog.