July 16, 2021

Move Fast and Make Things (that work)


Digital has changed the world fast. At Fortnight, we know this better than anyone. We are fascinated with the science of user-experience and the magic of design, and we work with our partners to help develop the right digital strategy for their business. But just as digital is changing the world quickly, the way businesses approach digital is changing quickly too. 

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 he had a mantra that resonated across every aspect of the business. The message was simple: Move Fast and Break Things.

Zuckerberg wanted this motto to inform internal design and management processes - with the phrase pushing the business and its employees to do whatever they could to get their products into the hands of audiences as quickly as possible. 

The message became a cornerstone of the business - with posters of the phrase adorning every Facebook office around the globe. This mentality saw Facebook grow into the global behemoth it is today, and the now-famous mantra became a source of inspiration for millions of start-ups and entrepreneurs. It reflected a scrappy, punchy mindset which prioritised pace over planning.

But as time has progressed, we have seen that the mentality of ‘disruption at any cost’ does actually come with quite a big cost. 

Facebook’s unprecedented rate of growth has led it to facing billions of dollars worth of fines for privacy violations - whilst coming into spotlight for the platform’s influence on wider societal issues. 

And so in 2014, Facebook changed its motto for developers from Move Fast and Break Things to Move Fast With Stable Infra. Facebook recognised they have been moving too fast to see where they were going - and that this was starting to cost them

At Fortnight, we have seen the same mentality impacting businesses when developing apps and digital experiences. Businesses often want to move as quickly as possible and rush apps into existence - but then often find that they need to invest heavily later down the line on optimisation because the initial product was made in too much haste. There is no point in moving so fast you break your own things. 

This isn’t to say that working fast is a bad idea. We always want to test things at pace and work iteratively to create the best product possible - but speed is only effective when the right structure is in place with the right team to help you through the journey. 

Facebook’s new motto does reflect a crucial truth: there can be no success without investing in a stable infrastructure. It’s critical that businesses understand the value of making strong infrastructure and quality end-to-end optimisation a priority from the very start of the design process - as in the long run it saves precious time and money. 

This is always on our minds. When we approach developing apps, we don’t build blindly or copy-and-paste an approach. We combine the expertise of our Design, Development and Product specialists to ensure that we deliver a product or experience that works for the long term. We have taken this approach when working with our partners - such as Simba, Bumble and Riot Games - and the results have been emphatic. 

The era of move Move Fast and Break Things has taught us many lessons about how to approach digital. There is still undoubtedly a place for businesses to be gutsy and pursue a fast solution to prove their concept - but this is usually before they have found the perfect product-market fit. When you have identified a solution that works for the business and resonates with the audience - then it is critical to invest in creating the best product possible. 

We work with businesses who have found their product/market fit and need help scaling up their offering. Most of these companies have created products which have huge potential - but the business isn’t at the stage to hire a full tech team in house just yet. We are here to bridge this gap.  

Have a project? Get in touch with us!

Move Fast and Make Things (that work)