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How Your Socks Can Determine Software Lifespan

Filed Under Thought Stuff

Old Socks

This will inevitability go down in history as the worst analogy ever but here we go:

The lifespan of your software is directly proportional to the lifespan of a pair of socks. – Max Pool

Both socks and software go through a strict 3 phase lifecycle:

Phase 1 – Brand New

Let me tell you first hand, there is nothing in the world like putting on a new pair of socks. Heaven is new socks – period.

Second best, the plastic wrap smell as you dig into a new box of software. The software works and feels great…you hope this feeling never ends…

Phase 2 – Worn But Functional

The honeymoon is over, the software is running for you great but you have found some annoying bugs. They are no big deal, you can keep working, but you find out that the new version of your database will not be supported…bummer.

Phase 3 – Needs Replacing

Your IT Dept decided to upgrade the database so now your software is limping along. You still use it out of necessity but don’t like that gritty feeling it gives you between your toes…time to go back to phase 1.

So if I give the following time estimations:

  • Phase 1 – 2 weeks
  • Phase 2 – 2-5 years
  • Phase 3 – 2 weeks

This would be approximately the lifetime of a pair of daily used socks. To take my hypothesis even further, the lifespan of software is directly impacted on how often you use it.

  • Social Networks = Running Socks – They tend to wear out quickly but are fun while they lasted.
  • Operating Systems = White Socks – Expect them to last awhile (but not forever). Don’t buy the Vista brand.
  • Home Video Software = Wool Socks – You only pull them out once a year, so they last awhile.

When building or buying your applications, always imagine what your sock drawer would be filled with. If you only have a certain pair of socks, you might be in trouble.

Note: No sandal fans were harmed in this post.

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One Response to “How Your Socks Can Determine Software Lifespan”

  1. Evan on January 4th, 2008 3:01 am

    Yes, but what about the odd socks where one of them has been lost in the washing machine?

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