Sep 5, 2011 David Lang

Making More Work for Ourselves

ExtraMile Last week, I spent all day in a meeting with other developers. We were hashing out the interface for several upcoming additions to Accordance for iOS, and I'm really excited about where the app is going.

In these meetings, I and the other non-programmers have the luxury of being able to suggest cool ideas without any real notion of how easy they'll be to implement. By the end of the day, I think we were all feeling a little guilty. So when we squeezed in one last feature to discuss, we all tried to make it as easy as possible for our iOS developer. That's when he went to the whiteboard and sketched out some really cool ideas. The rest of us all agreed that what he suggested would be great, and he quipped that he had just made more work for himself than he had originally envisioned.

It occurred to me as I drove home that making more work for oneself is a pretty universal dynamic among Accordance employees. For example, I'm currently evaluating a bunch of new modules that we're just about ready to release. These modules are in good shape, and I could probably release them as is, but I keep finding little things we can do to make them even better. I'm making more work for myself (and others) at a time when we all have plenty to do, but I just can't seem to settle for "good enough." I want these modules to be "insanely great."

I could tell story after story which demonstrates that same impulse on the part of other members of the Accordance team. I could mention the care our programmers take to squash bugs before release and the speed with which they fix any that are found afterward. I could talk about the time our sales staff takes to make sure you get what you want without feeling pressured to buy something you don't need. Or the way they'll contact someone who did not take advantage of an available discount and credit him the savings he would have received. I could disclose the money we spend to have scholars improve the tagging of texts we don't think are quite "research-grade." I could mention the seminar trainers who spend their "breaks" offering one-on-one help to the attendees. Again and again, we go beyond what anyone would consider "reasonable" or "acceptable" to "make more work for ourselves."

It really is remarkable to work for a company where going the extra mile is a universal employee trait, but I can honestly say I can't think of a single exception on our staff. We all tend to make more work for ourselves, because we all want to provide an insanely great experience for you.

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Archived Comments

Helen Brown

September 05, 2011 12:12 PM

And posting this blog on the Labor Day holiday is yet another example.

Dr. J

September 06, 2011 9:29 AM

I couldn't agree more—and have never been happier at any job in my life. The quality of the people that I work with here at Accordance is phenomenal, as is their dedication to producing a quality product. They're easily the brightest single group of people I have ever had the priviledge to work with. The fact that we have joined together to produce software to study the Bible is just really, really cool!

Chris Petty

September 06, 2011 10:29 AM

This post gives me an opportunity to express how grateful I am for Accordance. Your "extra-mile" work ethic is clearly evident in this great software. I am regularly impressed at its depth and ease of use. Accordance doesn't just do things; it does things well. Thank you for providing real help to this pastor's study of the word of God.


September 06, 2011 7:02 PM


Suggestion: Why not put forth your UI ideas before us an let the majority vote save you-all time? Or, let some of us tallented-ones submit our ideas to you, and then let the majority vote ruled, to save you time and extra work?

And more importantly, DON'T FORGET UI UPDATE FOR MAC OS.

David Lang

September 07, 2011 10:49 AM

Dan, rest assured that we are not forgetting the UI of the Mac application. Updating the UI is just one aspect of far more sweeping changes that are coming to the Mac app.

As for making UI suggestions, any user can do that by posting to our user forums. Those threads always tend to generate lively discussion.