Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The story of Maven is a journey towards perfection.

What started as common sense, slowly evolved into a way of doing things – the Artha Shastra way. The ad-hoc, piece meal approach gave way to a structured and systematic approach to problem-solving. This was step one of removing the cruft and starting on the path to perfection.

However, this methodology that was still so complex that people paid good money and spent valuable time to try and understand it. Here was the next step, to remove the complexity by using machines to do what they are good at and let humans use their intelligence to guide the machines towards the larger goal. Thus began the journey of Maven development.

The third step of simplification was to present non-linear, non-intuitive effects, which arguably mimic the butterfly effect, to appear simple and linear, more like the domino effect. Lots of late nights with the UX experts finally helped us achieve the same.

The fourth step was the development, or rather the lack of it. The discussion of what would remain in the product and what would be left out. It was more than a quest for a minimum viable product; it was to reduce the overall complexity of the product while being useful for a large set of use cases.

And we are currently in the final stages of achieving perfection. How do we communicate the benefits of Maven is a clear and concise manner. We can speak volumes about the goodness of Maven, but as always, perfection lies in taking away until there is nothing left to take away. And we are getting closer with every deleted word and rewritten sentence.

Stay tuned to know more about Maven and how it can help you achieve perfection in your service delivery.

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Those were my thoughts when I took up the challenge of building Maven (then known as Project Andromeda).

There were so many reasons not to do it, unfinished and continuously evolving specs, unknown complexity, several dependencies, no development team in place, no clear target user, unproven market, extremely aggressive deadlines, fear of running out of money etc. But there was one important reason to do it: it hasn’t been done before.

Having decided that I want to do it, how do I go about it?

Well there is only one way to build software, to start building it. It cannot be done by sitting on the side-lines and waiting for things to fall into place before you begin. It needs a team to be built, need analysis, write specs, design, architect, code, test… and building Maven meant that we were doing all of these at once.

And then we celebrate…

The thrill of seeing the thoughts of several people in bytes and pixels is difficult to articulate. We know that we have just scratched the surface, and there is a ton of work to be done, but we also know that the journey ahead is much more manageable than what we have went through.

Why copy-cats don’t keep me up at night.

It takes a special type of environment to achieve something like this. You need people who are willing to suspend disbelief, embrace chaos, put their careers on the line and work with single minded focus to make it happen. Maven could not be built in an enterprise environment. It would take over 10 person-years to complete, and will be way behind what Maven would be by then. But to ensure that Maven is years ahead of competition, we cannot rest on what has been achieved and continue to innovate and create new benchmarks.