Living in the Envelope of Functional Obsolescence

He said it was a stupid name. He was right. He called it “maximum Freud”. He had two reasons, one of which I cannot remember, but the other was that if you stayed there too long, you’d go crazy. I see things differently than he does. But then, I spend a lot of time there.

I’ve named it the Envelope of Functional Obsolescence. It is that place where one technology is dying, and another is being born to replace it.

As a MicroBusiness Web Developer, I spend most of my time on one side or the other of this state. A technology doesn’t die a quick death. It is gradually edged out. And new technologies don’t catch fire rapidly in most instances either. They come in slowly, have to prove themselves, have to BE improved to the point of stability, and then they have to come down in price. During that process, the old technology still has a large following. AFTER that, it slowly dwindles.

We live on the edge, making constant choices about the most cost effective solutions. They have to be stable, and affordable in the short term, yet not so close to obsolescence that they’ll fade in a year and compromise the investment of the site owner. Because our clients have limited budgets, we live closer to the edge than most businesses of this type. We cannot afford to adopt new technologies when the price is still higher, nor can we afford to adopt technologies which may still be having the bugs worked out, UNLESS it is one of those rare ones that is a clear and unquestionable leap forward in price and function.

It does not, in fact, make one crazy. It just requires balance and a good deal of knowledge and experience. You can’t do it without knowing your stuff, and you can’t be successful at it unless you know just who the customers are that it benefits.

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