How to recognize a succesful long term project

Through Lucas’, I got to an interesting article called Who’s Behind This Mess? He applied his ideas to companies, but I claim that it can be applied to long term projects as well.

  • The project must address a pain point, an existing or soon-to-be problem
  • The project must be run lean
  • The project must not require its users to change their behavior in any significant way

(I substituted “project” for “company” throughout.)

I think the last point is so-so. It is true that it is much easier to meet customer demand without asking people to change the way they work. And you have to be very careful about asking people to change because they will resist. However, I believe that if they have a compelling reason to do so, people will change the way they behave.

So, I’d rephrase this being saying that an easy long term project will have the above 3 properties. If you drop some of these properties, life will get tougher.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

4 thoughts on “How to recognize a succesful long term project”

  1. Disagree! Project is not company! I hope you are talking about research project. If it is already a soon to bee problem, how come to be a long-term project? This issue of AI magazine has
    three papers on Cognitive Vision. Three groups work on the issue for 20-10 years. That is the time you can produce sometime on one topic. Motivation is 1)automatically drive car by vision feedback 2) recoginze/understanding image at metalevel. They come from pure computational image
    processing to symbolic understanding. That is the real dream of AI. That is the long
    term goal. Ready to spend your whole life for it? able to run it? Sure you can not
    write a proposal saying that you want a full automatic car. Then it is up to your art.

  2. Well, it is fine to do research for the sake of research if that’s what you are after. I think what these guidelines say is that if you are solving a real problem, then life will be easier.

    Are people interested in having car drive themselves? You bet! To be precise, many companies would love to have lifts drive themselves around the warehouse.

    If you happen to realize the dreams of AI researchers while getting there, then beautiful!

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