I work with a number of clients that range in size and have noticed something interesting (at least to me). The bigger companies tend to have more resources, take a longer time to produce something, but in the end put out a high quality product. A lot of people inside of the big business (with big ambition) see the long development cycle and get frustrated for the long processes and decide to leave big business and start their own small business in hopes of being more efficient/quick.
Once the business is set up – the ability to release products seems amazingly simple, easy, and effective. More and more products are introduced but soon they generally all run into the same thing: quality assurance issues. Sure they can release something quickly but part of the quickness is due to the lack of polish and proper review that is needed to create a truly great product. The products are generally 90% there but that last 10% is hard to obtain. Not everything needs to be perfect – but at the end of the day, we all want something of quality so the small business puts more time into getting the right people in place for design, implementation, and testing. Soon the quick release cycles becomes longer and longer and reminds them of the big business days.
At some point the cycle will start all over again. The business owner now understands and appreciates what it takes to create something of quality while someone who works under them gets frustrated and needs to learn the lesson for themselves by starting their own company.
Lesson for the day:
There are definite pluses and minuses with quick release cycles vs. longer release cycles. The key is to find some middle ground. Respect both a shorter release cycle while still paying attention to quality.