Revision History

Dear J-

I like to see V1.0 on something — it’s telling me that they’ve gone through some beta testing and believe that now, some important niche in my life has been filled, whether it’s something as prosaic as putting zombies to a final rest or as profound as giving my words license to take flight (although to be honest the Internet is full of self-published cranks like me). There’s real innovation here, and they’ve reached a point where sufficient stabilitiy means that you can get real work done here. The sandbox is open for play, and there’s all kinds of new tools and goodies (or new ways to get things done) that you might not have guessed at before.

I also like seeing V2.0. That’s telling me there’s a major overhaul in the interface or toolset and the capabilities are greater — like early Stephen King, too, it’s not such an obnoxiously high number that the feature/prose set has gotten too bloated (c.f. The Drawing of the Three, still easily the best in The Gunslinger series, to the original The Gunslinger, or the ultimate disappointment that awaits in book seven, The Dark Tower). They believe they’ve wrought useful changes, or implemented their initial-concept wishlists that may not have had time to make it into the first release, this before they’ve had a chance to overthink it to death. I’d almost argue that this is what their vision of perfect would be, the right balance between needs and wants, true to the founding principles.

Where are we at in our lives? At eighteen you’re supposed to be a fully-formed V1.0, at least according to some definitions: ready to make life-changing decisions on your own. It’s a frightening and exciting time, stepping out of the nest and watching yourself change your world. When do we get to 2.0? There’s no specific age, and no definite criteria (no, getting your first Porsche doesn’t count, unless you count it as selling out), and it’s not like we wear our version history on our sleeves. I suspect that many of us muddle through at a 1.x level, incomplete bugfixes based on reaction to stimuli without taking a long-term approach to improvement. But you start by outlining a vision and committment, right?

Mike

P.S. There is no version 42. Don’t even go there.

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