[thelist] RE: Razorfish retaliates - there's a reason for the cost

martin burns martin at members.evolt.org
Fri Jul 21 03:15:01 CDT 2000

Vlad wrote:
>  you mean using a database vs. using a static page?  cuz that 
>  alone doesn't warrant a factor of 10 difference, let alone a factor
> of 
>  1,000....  hell, even rolling out a full-bore content tool and the
> like 
>  doesn't often justify a  10mil site...

Yes,  but the benefits of doing so may well do.

> + MANAGEMENT: HR overhead. In a company of 9000, you need a significant
> group of people who are dedicated to managing all of the chaos.
> Presidents,
> CEOs and department heads don't come cheap either.

Actually good management should encourage chaos, rather than reduce it. Otherwise, people do the same old same old all the time, and nothing truely inspirational ever gets done.

HR people of course do their best to contain it all ("It's fun, so let's stop it" hehe)

> + SERVICE GUARANTEES: mission critical systems simply cost more. It's
> fine
> to develop a small business site using Linux, Access and Cold Fusion.
> But
> when you promise a client no more than, say, 2 hours of downtime per
> month,
> you need something significantly more robust. Wait - it's unfair to lump
> Linux in there with Access.
CF too.

2 hours of downtime a month is a lot. A real robust site should have DR so that it needn't ever have unplanned downtime. You wouldn't put up with it from a cash dispenser, would you?

> + BENEFITS INFRASTRUCTURE: Part of the reason why you have so many
> people
> forgoing the pleasure of working from home in their Pajamas is because
> those
> company benefits are a damned nice thing to have, especially when Junior
> needs medical and dental insurance. And all of the little things too:
> free
> breakfast on Mondays and Fridays, free pizza on Thursdays, weekly
> massages,
> beer and slushies on Fridays, discount haircuts -- You know, those
> little
> perks that mean more than their inherent dollar worth.

Nope, the key to growing a really good company is that the good people are worth their weight in gold. If it takes a few cheap thrills like weekly pizza to stop them walking out to a competitor, that's cheap. 

> + FASTER DEVELOPMENT: Businesses are asking for more functionality
> within a
> shorter time-to-market frame. At some point, a single person is no
> longer
> enough. At some point, a single team began to fall short of business
> goals.
> Now we're up to a model where you've got multiple teams in multiple
> disciplines (Strategy, UI, Tech, SiteDev, Project Mgmt) working
> aggressive
> schedules in order to meet time constraints. That's expensive too.  

And making it happen around Brooks' law is even more so.

> + SECURITY: It's one thing to have your database full of fabric colors
> and
> costs stolen, it's another to have your credit card database held
> hostage by
> some malicious n'er do well. Security costs a ton: software, hardware,
> redundancy, outside audits.

Just ask PowerGen...


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