The Timeless Way of Building Products

While doing research for a post I’m busy with, I came across this great quote by Christopher Alexander from his book, The Timeless Way of Building:

“We have come to think of buildings, even towns as ‘creations’ — again thought out, conceived entire, designed… All this has defined the task of creation, or design, as a huge task, in which something gigantic is brought to birth, suddenly in a single act… Imagine, by contrast, a system of simple rules, not complicated, patiently applied, until they gradually form a thing … The mastery of what is made does not lie in the depths of some impenetrable ego; it lies, instead in the simple mastery of the steps in the process…”

It reminds me of the lean way in which we’ve come to build products lately. It doesn’t start out with a grand and complete blueprint where everything is perfectly in place from the beginning. It rather starts out with loose components of what we already know and exist. And then, slowly and patiently over time, we piece them together to form something that functions better than what otherwise would have been possible.