Knowing When To Tear It Down.

Wireless Router and Cable Modem

I’ve had a lot of trouble with Time Warner this year. They service internet at my apartment, and — somehow — they’re the only provider who offers internet on my block.

Which is a problem, because, 1) I work on the internet, and 2) Time Warner’s internet is wildly unreliable. I’ve had seven visits from Time Warner this year to fix my internet. SEVEN! And it still goes out every two weeks.

But what I find interesting is what the repair staff for Time Warner has told me about why the service is so unreliable. The fault, they say, lies almost entirely with a bad infrastructure of cables that was first laid out in New York. The repair team can make little fixes, but ultimately, the infrastructure needs to be redone, and until it’s fixed, Time Warner is going to remain unreliable.

So here’s where I bring this back around to the work we all do.

There are times when you discover that small fixes are enough to get the job done. When a few changes can make a difference.

But there are other times when the infrastructure of a project or a team is fundamentally broken. You can’t just duct tape things together in those cases. You have to tear it down and build it all over again.

The difference between those who get the work done and those who don’t is often understanding where you stand. Does this require a little fix? Or is this a total do-over?

It’s hard to the work if the thing you’re working from is broken. Time Warner is proof of that.

That photo of a router comes via.