Challenging conventional wisdom — let’s reinvent the wheel

Like most everything in life, conventional wisdom is a double-edged sword that has both good and bad sides. On the plus side its a great time saver, helping us to avoid making the same mistakes over and over. On the negative side it can stifle creativity and innovation.

True wisdom, on the other hand, is the ability to decide when a piece of conventional wisdom applies, and when it does not. I’m always interested in the kind of knowledge and experience that lets me increase my quota of true wisdom.

So, it is in this spirit that I recommend Kevin Barne’s little piece titled Three reasons to reinvent the wheel.

I get so tired of the worn out expression, “let’s not re-invent the wheel.” It’s used as a conversation stopper to inform you that you are straying from the well worn path of software sanity. There is no mention that this well worn path now employs nearly two million people to write what are essentially the same CRUD applications that were written on mainframes in the 1970s. It is a statement that life is good and you should rejoin the flower people on the primrose path to happiness. So, here is my answer, the three reasons you should reinvent the wheel.

His three reasons are:

  • The wheel sucks
  • You don’t understand wheels
  • They don’t sell wheels at the Kwik-E Mart

Go read his posting for the details.


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