First Pancake

First post!

If blog posts are anything like pancakes, the first one’s always bad. That said, let’s get this first one out of the way quickly and move on.

First pancakes might always be bad, but they’re important. They’re the trailblazer for the rest of the pancakes, and they give you information about how to make the proper adjustments for the rest of the batch.

Designing software’s kinda like making pancakes, except we also make and throw out a ton of ingredients before the actual production. Our ingredients are all the iterations of sketches, notes, wireframes, mockups, prototypes, etc. Our first pancakes are the beta versions of software, which we iterate on until we’re ready to deliver.

Just like those first pancakes, our first software releases teach us what’s needed on the next iteration. Is the interface/batter smooth and consistent? Is there enough value/grease? Is the demand/heating-surface hot enough? At each stage of the process, you learn, you adjust, and you try again.

As soon as you have something palatable, you serve it up. Early customer feedback is great, but nobody wants burnt pancakes. Feedback will be dependent on a few factors: do I know the person who made this? Did I pay for this? If so, how much? If you pay a lot of money for bad software, you’re probably upset. If you get bad software for free, you’re more understanding. Just like pancakes.

Sometimes you get lucky and nail it on the first try. Usually not, but either way you won’t know what you have until you actually make it. Starting anything is hard because you’ve gotta overcome the inertia of not doing, but once you get going and start building momentum, it’s great.

An artistic depiction of a stack of pancakes.

I haven’t even begun beating this analogy to death yet, but for your sake I’m gonna stop here.

This is just the first pancake. It’s the trailblazer, the ice-breaker, and the momentum builder. It’s not much on its own, but everything has to start somewhere.

Thanks for reading - the other pancakes should be better.