Why Pinterest Updates Its Mobile App Every 3 Weeks - InformationWeek

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Why Pinterest Updates Its Mobile App Every 3 Weeks
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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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4/6/2015 | 9:33:08 AM
Re: One trick pony ...and not an essential one
I think established companies can learn a lot from looking at web-mobile innovators like Pinterest, even if it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison. GE is an example of an established company trying to learn from the Silicon Valley startup culture. At last year's InformationWeek Conference, one of GE's business unit CIOs, Jim Fowler, described how GE created a Silicon Valley office in part hoping that that office could change GE's culture -- to drive more speed, more innovation, etc. Jim was then CIO of GE Power & Water and is now CIO of GE Capital -- 2 highly regulated industries -- but he's still embracing the ideas, with certain caveats to meet regualtory requirements. So GE has a program called FastWorks, to take the best of techniquest such as Agile and DevOps and make them work for a big, established, regulated companies, hopefully without sucking all the value out of them. 
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
4/4/2015 | 5:50:53 PM
Re: Why Pinterest Updates Its Mobile App Every 3 Weeks
I like Mr. Beltzer's response to the question of why they do things this way - 'because they wouldn't give me two weeks' kind of amounts to 'why not?' We see that a lot when it comes to recent IT trends. Think about DevOps; why not elminate any needless steps in the process and streamline everything into our development cycle? Now, there are some legitimate reasons why not for some enterprises (compliance, security), especially in some industries (financial, government-related), as others are pointing out here. If you're in one of them, then maybe Pinterest's method is not for you, but there are still some useful tips to be gleaned here. For example, getting all your users on board a big change like this, collecting their feedback, and using it to improve the process.

Continuous improvement is the name of the game, and that's also true for every business. New techonlogies like cloud, like SDN/NFV, like analytics, allow companies to innovate faster and better whether they're marketing directly to consumers or not - whether they're releasing on mobile or not. If you look at the number of companies adding 'digital' officers and departments, you see that this now touches even businesses that this once seemed irrelevant to. Fortunately, if you don't have the scale, the reources, or the desire to build the infrastructure necessary for yourself, outside companies can help. Amazon, Google, and Docker have offerings to help you streamline your process without having to retrain all your staff. Meanwhile, if you need to stay in-house, there's all kinds of great hyperconverged options. I'd say there's a lesson in here for everyone.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
4/4/2015 | 9:06:10 AM
One trick pony ...and not an essential one
Pinterest does one set of tasks and that's it. It is not comparable with an enterprise application that does a multitude of things. Further, Pinterest is not a business critical app for anyone...except for the makers of Pinterest. That means if Pinterest doesn't work right users do not lose business from it. Comparing Pinterest to enterprise (web) apps is comparing apples to oranges.

Many enterprise customers even dislike quarterly releases and often opt not to take them if they have control over it. They rather have annual releases that can be installed when there will be less impact on business. Releasing early and often is nothing more than a sales tool, it allows sales reps to show new features to potential customers quicker and it allows the business to add features faster to potentially close a deal. Often times these deal enablers end up being just a Potemkin's village. The release often craze has some benefits, but it is a major drawback on application quality. Proper design and testing are out, let's have (paying) customers test it. So what if they get dissatisfied? Since everyone is pushing out mediocre apps at rapid pace the customers are getting used to increasingly crappy software. Apparently, this is where folks want to go.

 
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
4/2/2015 | 9:58:06 AM
Re: Speed vs. Security
@beltzner Glad to hear it! We shouldn't expect perfection, but it's encouraging that security reviews are built into the process.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
4/2/2015 | 1:48:17 AM
Re: Speed vs. Security
@Drew Conry-Murray, good point... but this days everyone talks about security... but put it on the last to do list... scarry if you ask me....
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
4/2/2015 | 1:46:40 AM
Re: Speed vs. Security
@beltzner, with security it never 100% or will it ever be??? 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
4/2/2015 | 1:44:49 AM
Re: Speed vs. Security
@danielcawrey, I could not agree more... as this days also hype should always be taken in the account of how things done....
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
4/2/2015 | 1:41:54 AM
Re: Speed vs. Security
@Thomas Claburn, yes from my point of view as ex QA/Software tester you are right... but with security you never know....
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/1/2015 | 6:02:58 PM
Re: Speed vs. Security
I'm guessing if the focus is A/B testing, most of the changes are UI and don't affect core security functions.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/1/2015 | 2:40:42 PM
Re: Speed vs. Security
I completely understand why Pinterest would do this, even before reading the article. 

After reading, I believe in this type of development cycle even more. It makes three weeks acutally seem like a long time, doesn't it?
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