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Hanging on to old things

I have seen my Kid grow from 0 to 6 year and one startup growing from 20 to 150 employees and another growing from 5 to 300+ employees.  A common trend I seen is hanging on to old things.  Not sure if its due to sentimental value attached to things or inability to make hard choices.  My Kid still has his toys that he used to play when he was 1 year old. He wouldn’t let us throw them or give it to someone, I am recently working with him to let go of old things.  Problem with old things is that they are a drag, they just sit around the house and are a clutter. Its the same with old books, I have many of them and one day I need to go and clean them once I read a book,  I rarely read them again so why not donate them to library.

A common observation with Startups I have worked is feature bloat due to holding on to old features. Features that are not maintained but are in use by a handful of customers causes drag. Recently I wanted to refactor folder listing code to not load additional versions data as the new UI doesn’t require it. But as I started chasing reference graph I found 5-10 places in old versions of UI using it with some complex intertwined data structures and what seemed like 1 hour worth of work seemed like 1 week of work. I gave up refactoring it due to other important things on plate. Ultimately biggest loser in this is the new UI.

Sometimes we have to make tough decisions and let go of older things else it creates a baggage not only to us but others too.

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