Underdo Your Competition – on building web apps by David Heinemeier Hansson

I am reading one of DHH’s old book “Getting Real“. It is a really nice book explaining nice principles on building a killer web app. He emphasizes on building less rather than more. Building less features but doing them extremely well. I am quoting him here as it is:Getting Real

Conventional wisdom says that to beat your competitors you need to one-up them. If they have four features, you need five (or 15, or 25). If they’re spending x, you need to spend xx. If they have 20, you need 30.

This sort of one-upping Cold War mentality is a dead-end. It’s an expensive, defensive, and paranoid way of building products. Defensive, paranoid companies can’t think ahead, they can only think behind. They don’t lead, they follow.

So what to do then? The answer is less. Do less than your competitors to beat them. Solve the simple problems and leave the hairy, difficult, nasty problems to everyone else. Instead of oneupping, try one-downing. Instead of outdoing, try underdoing.

How to use Delicious to search for useful content

In this post, I would like to explain an extremely useful use-case of one of my favorite and highly popular tool Delicious. Let’s say I came across a useful URL that is relevant to the work that I am doing or stuff that I am interested in. For instance in this case, I came across rFacebook , a ruby gem for interacting with Facebook API.

Now, I want to search for more related links to Ruby, Rails and/or Facebook. Here is what I did:

1) Bookmarked this link on Delicious. As you can see in the image, the Addthis Addon already shows that it has been saved 391 times.

2) Select a few tags for instance rails & facebook in my case & click save. Once you have saved the link as well, it would go to delicious & increment the count by 1. Now it it showing 392 for me.

3) Click on the count to open all the saved items for this URL.

3) Now it shows all the users that have saved this URL & the tags they have used for this URL.

4) You can click on the tags to view other URLs that they have saved for these tags. Lastly, you can also add any of the users that you find useful to your network so that you can quickly browse their bookmarks quickly at any time.

I have found this to be a very useful technique to discover new, useful & relevant content. Hope you find it useful as well.