When I was about 7 years old, my class learned about the Titanic and how it ended up at the bottom of the ocean. It was such a massive ship and the captain felt that a tiny little iceberg couldn’t do any damage to the Goliath of a ship he was conducting. As any 7 year old knows, that was just the tip of the iceberg. In life, you can learn a lot from the Titanic and specifically Icebergs. Just because it looks tiny, it doesn’t mean that you are seeing the whole picture. From the Captain’s point of view, he could only see what was above the water, not what was below. If he was able to see the whole picture, the titanic would have had a very different ending, James Cameron wouldn’t have made so much money from Titanic the movie and thousands of people would have had 3 more hours of their time, if they all lived happily ever after.
Recently, a friend approached me to complain about the web developer that he had just fired. The guy built him an e-commerce website for about $3000 for my friend’s business which has been working out pretty well for him. The business has been doing well and has been expanding so much that the website now needs a “search” feature for visitors to properly navigate it and find what they want. My friend was flabbergasted when the developer told him that the search feature he was looking for would cost about $1200 to develop. When he finished complaining, I asked him what he wanted the search to do and he told me. Basically, what he was looking for was a very customized search engine that would integrate with all of his products. I told my friend that $1200 seemed reasonable for what he was interested in doing. “But it’s just a tiny little search box! All I want is a tiny little box on the side of the site”. If he wanted, he could have put a free Google Search Applet on his site which would use Google to search his site but he wasn’t interested. He needed specific features in his search box. This is a perfect example of someone just seeing the tip of the iceberg. He has no clue what goes into the back end of web development. The same goes for anything else in life. How can anyone make good decisions if they don’t see the whole picture.
Lucky people try and get all the facts. They research, they talk to people and hire professionals and consultants when needed to make sure they have the whole picture and make the best decisions. My friend could have held onto a very good web developer if he would have just done a little research to learn what was involved in adding his “tiny little search box”. Next time, before making rash decisions, try and look for the whole picture and you will get lucky.