Sid Cancels Commitment, World Does Not End. Sometimes, You Need To Just Let it Go

After a series of software development mishaps this week, Sid Savara, who was scheduled to demo his pet project at Manoa Geeks discovered that the project was at risk of not being completed in time.  Sid had been looking forward to the event all week:  a chance to showcase himself in front of the who’s who in Hawaii’s tech community.   During the final stretch, however, Sid encountered some issues.

Sid weighed his options, made his decision, and lived with the fall out.

A Difficult Situation – Weighing The Options

As the deadline loomed, the software development team, (consisting  entirely of Sid) discovered themselves hopelessly behind schedule.  They were unable to work through implementation as quick as they had hoped, and at this rate the deadline was going to get the better of them.  Tradeoffs needed to be made, long hours and additional developers were considered: everything was on the table.  Sid thus considered his options:

  1. Get It Done At All Costs.  In this scenario, Sid would work through the issues, forgoing hours of sleep, time with his friends, and likely hampering his other goals.  It’s a strategy that has been used successfully in the past, and a perennial crowd favorite.  Everyone loves a good war story, where the hero works on the beta software right up until the last minute and the demonstration is pulled off successfully.  The option of choice sure to elicit toasts, pats on the back, and “back in my day” stories for years to come.
  2. Present it Half Finished.  Work through some of the problems, and present a lame demo of a half-completed project.  To compensate for the lack of functionality, slick powerpoint presentations, bullet points and talking around the issues will be used to distract the audience.  Generally the fall back plan after #1 has fallen through.  Given the current state of affairs, as much as #1 would be preferable, this option had to be considered as a likely scenario.  Nobody likes a lame demo, especially the people giving it.
  3. Just Let It Go.  The unthinkable:  admit temporary defeat, cancel his commitment, and continue life as normal. This would be difficult for someone as accomplished and unaccustomed to failure as Sid, and truly a measure of last resort.

The Decision Is Made – and The Fallout

After careful consideration, Sid decided to Just Let It Go.  He emailed the organizer, Ryan Ozawa, and told him he wouldn’t be able to demo anything, but would still attend Manoa Geeks.  Friends, history shall judge whether it was the right time to withdraw.  Ryan swiftly rendered this stern judgment (reprinted in its entirety):

Aloha e Sid,

Bummer! But it’s most important that you be there!  See you then.


Aloha e Sid, indeed. (loosely translated aloha means any number of things:  hello, love, welcome, goodbye)

The Demo Is Scrapped – Yet Somehow, The World Goes On

Manoa Geeks was yesterday evening, and from all appearances, the lack of Sid’s demo presented little consequence, save for perhaps making a liar out of Ryan on Twitter.   The sponsor, ILovePhotos showcased a development build of their application that has been getting fantastic reviews around the web, and put on a great event.  The free pizza and company were excellent, and Ryan’s planning, if anything, was easier with one less demonstration to account for.

The lesson?  Sometimes we make commitments we can’t live up to, and we need to just let it go.  Drop the ball once in a while.   It’s ok:  I, and Ryan, give you permission.

Aloha e friends.

PS – This shouldn’t be misconstrued as carte blanche to just let everything fall apart.  Back out of your commitments too often without reason and you risk coming off as flaky, and someone who cannot keep their word.  From time to time however, we all have setbacks, bad days, or simply overcommit.  Relax, and just let it go.

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