I love a good baseball metaphor. There is nothing better than using the lens of baseball to make a point simple, clear and biting.
So let me tell you what I’ve been thinking today. You can’t hit a 5 run homer – it just can’t be done. Doesn’t matter how smart you are; doesn’t matter how talented you are; doesn’t matter how many twitter friends you’ve got.
I’m an optimist – some would say annoyingly so. I believe the best developers among us can code just about anything we want them to. But that isn’t really the point – is it? The point should be bringing the greatest value to the largest number of people possible.
Often, however, you are faced with a dilemma. Your “power users” want functionality that no one but a power user will ever be able to (or more importantly willing to) use. In short – they want you to hit a 5 run homer.
Why is that a 5 run homer? Because you can’t exert 80% of your effort satisfying 5% of the target market. You can’t convert the masses by catering to the few.
So you make a choice – you swing for the fences, or you shorten up and take the ball back up the middle. But no matter how hard you swing… you aren’t driving in 5 runs with one swing.