Security lessons from Nature – The Dinochicken
OK, so we don’t have a dinochicken yet, it’s being worked on. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to blog about it.
Building on last year’s moderate success linking a tyrannosaurus rex to a chicken (which, admittedly is being challenged), scientists are attempting to reverse genetically-engineer dinosaurs from chickens. Specifically, they’re trying to produce chickens with teeth (which can happen), longer tail and forearms.
So, what does this have to do with business, other than it’s being really neat?
Simply put, even if it’s possible to do this, it will be extremely difficult and expensive. They have to identify specific genes, figure out how to turn them on and off, find a series of stages to make the embryos viable (you can’t just hatch a dinosaur from a chicken egg, there’ll need to be steps), and eventually grow them to the point where they can self-reproduce. It’s a whole lot of work. If you wanted a dinosaur, it would have made a lot more sense to not let them go extinct in the first place.
Of course, there’s not much any of could have done to prevent the extinction of the dinosaurs, but there are certain present-day species that could probably use a bit of help. If they become extinct, they’re gone. Sure, we could try to resurrect them with technology, but we’d lose all of the learned behavior that passes from generation to generation. It would be a lot cheaper and easier to save them now… and we’d do a better job.
The same applies to your internal I.T. projects. As the economy continues to stall out, and companies readjust their spending, stop and consider more than just the immediate costs. If you have a project that is truly wonderful, but is costing a fair amount of money, don’t just kill it. Maybe shift your focus from development towards documentation. Maybe adjust your sales strategy. Maybe sell it to another company. Just don’t let the project die. Recreating it could be far more time consuming and costly than you may like.
After all, you can go extinct after economic recovery just as easily as during.