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“When you hold a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail!”

A few weeks ago, while we were building our high performance computing grid over Graphical Process Unit (GPU), @Nam-Luc enunciated this sentence in order to spotlight one of the most crucial element in a project, whatever it is: the potential irreversibility of a tool choice.



Into the IT world, typically in an innovation perspective, the choice of IT tools (I mean products, frameworks, architectures and technical features) is often decisive to guarantee the success. Choosen at the right time, technologies will bring answers to our constraints. But chosen too early, they might 1/ be too specific and thus bring less answers, 2/ be inaccurate and generate new constraints and 3/ bring both!

But why do we choose the hammer so early?

  • Precious (therefore expensive) advices provided (Mr StrategyConsultant: “BigData is today.” then Mr KnowledgeProvider: “BigData is now and the best product is located in the right corner of this Magic Quadrant.”)
With objectives criterias, bananas are the best!
With objectives criterias, bananas are the best!


  • Oversupply of similar products’ offers which are difficult to compare (the first among the 13.800 results of “CRM software comparison“, crystal clear isn’t it?)
  • Important noise generated by the “Keyword-based consulting” salesmen (Mr Buyer: “HADOOP, NodeJS, D3, …” Mr Salesman: “I SEE… HAD OUP, NOODLE JAY ACE, D-SREE… I will provide you with tons of valuable CVs!”)
  • Poorly masterized concepts or even untruthful insights (Mr AlmostExpert: “HADOOP is very fast because it’s distributed. Associated with HBase, we’ll solve all BigData problem…”)
  • Enlightened arguments coming from great “influencers” (Mr ExpertOnTwitter in 2009: “Flash and Flex are the future of the web. Trust me.”)

Add a little drop of delivery pressure and an always too low level of collaboration between business and IT, we obtain a lot of “reasons” to rush and potentially spend the rest of the budget in sharing failure respectabilities.

And how could we improve ourselves?

1/ Vision: Project as far as possible
Be ambitious for our project and imagine it as it should be in its ideal shape in a sustainable way. Nothing better to keep our critical sense, to federate people and to better know the way that still to go.

2/ Pave the way: Prepare and proof
Refine the blur areas, experiment all those critical features and evaluate all the potential pitfalls on the way. That’s precisely at the end of those activities we must choose the final technologies for our product version 1.

3/ Request for proposals to real challengers
The rest should be history 🙂

Hervé Bath
Twitter: @hervebath


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