Aguilar was an energy trader at DC Energy, and as a graduate student interned with Roshan, a wireless company in Afghanistan. There, he says, he saw how much villagers’ quality of life improved when they got a basic cell phone. That taught him a valuable lesson. “A simple tool,” he says, “can be much more empowering than some massive effort.” Erin Zlomek, Technology Innovators – Francisco Aguilar, Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb 18, 2013.
We always kept building our customer big software solutions to their problems, which didn’t solve their problems.
One day we gave them some simple tools, small unix command line utilities, that gave them the ability to pull data and update data as they needed. They then mashed up their own solutions changing them regularly as things changed and never again wanted our big solutions.
We worked ourselves out of a job (good in this case, as we were a military organization) by giving them the means to solve their own problems rather than continuing to try and solve it for them.
Are there simpler projects that will do more good for the organization than the more exciting and complex ones we are now working on?