My blog has really fallen off in frequency of content this month. Don't worry, I'm not going to sit around making excuses. The fact is, if something is important enough to you, you will make time for it, and that's why I'm finally back to writing today.
It's been an amazingly busy month, here in October. I've mentioned in previous posts the startup that I'm working on right now, and in these last few weeks it's started to grow at what is frankly a frightening rate (exciting for a founder, frightening for a software developer). I usually manage to knock out 10 or so development items in a day, but in the same time period I add 12 more to my list. This sequence is not in my favor.
From one perspective, I could say that this is horrible, as you can prove mathematically that if those two rates both stay constant, I will never catch up. However, there's another way to think about this situation (which is probably the only thing keeping my sanity together at this point).
With a list as long as mine (and growing), I have more good ideas than I have time. In a way, that's very positive, because if it was the other way around I'd probably spend most of my time working on things that were already fine the way they were. More importantly, though, I am forced to choose what I need to get working on every morning, and I think that this is where having an especially long list actually benefits you.
I used to work in an agile shop (yeah, I've done both XP and SCRUM; they're OK but I'm not going to get religious about them), and one of the things that I liked about the process was that the most important features naturally floated to the top because they were the ones the customer asked for as their biggest priority. If you ran out of time on an agile project (and you had done it right) you would by definition only have the least important features left that got unimplemented.
A similar weeding-out process occurs with my code-base every morning, because I have to do some triage to decide what's going to get worked on today. Thus, due to the number of development items I have to choose from, the feature that gets my attention for the day is never anything other than the most critical item on the list, because I know I just can't get to all of them.
Given this perspective, that seemingly unending list of items to do seems less like a cancer growing to destroy me, and more like a cornucopia, a horn-'o-plenty-of-ideas if you will. I just hope that horn doesn't get big enough to crush me. ; )