Fresh Eyes vs. Experience – It Depends

This post is  a nice read.

Sometimes what you need to solve a problem is ‘0 years experience’ — not 10. I saw magazine people bring a lot of baggage to the blogging revolution: they wanted to be edited and wanted to write 1,000+ word pieces! TV directors with 10 years’ experience trying to shift into YouTube thought adding $10,000 in cameras and lights was the right thing to do, when they really should have focused on brainstorming creative ideas that could go viral and doing audience development.

Anyway, smart folks can debate the ‘fresh eyes’ vs. ‘experience’ all day long. The correct answer is ‘it depends on the situation.’

In my own experience in product building, ‘fresh eyes’ always helped mostly because developers with “zero experience’  did not know what cannot be done. A couple of examples:

  • Our first prototype of an SQL engine was built by two students fresh out of college. They learned about databases from C.J.Date’s book, learned C from K&R and built it on a PC-AT  using Lattice C
  • Our first database custom components were built by one intern and one year experienced programmer in 2 months. They learned how to write windows apps, build VB components and hacked together a prototype

While zero-experience was good for prototypes, real production products required people with more experience or took a bit longer (as the inexperienced team gained experience).