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Efficiency and Abundance

vikrampawar
・1 min read

When you have scarcity, efficiency is a virtue. It allows you to make the most of your resources. However, if you have abundance, efficiency is no longer a virtue in the same respect.

Efficiency is hard. It is unpleasant to be efficient. It requires a lot more discipline. So, efficiency is rare. We are not efficient if there is no compelling need. That is, we abandon efficiency, as soon as we understand that efficiency is no longer making the difference.

Now, let us see where these ideas make sense. In the early days of computing, resources were limited. So, efficiency was important. People tried to save resources every way they could. So, a lot of applications that were developed were developed with razor sharp focus on not wasting any resource, i.e, everything was made as efficient as was possible. So computing or developing software was not pleasant, not many people could do it, or wanted to do it.

But as computing resources became cheaper, and abundant, there was no longer the need to be very efficient in many types of development. It was okay if your program consumes 10 times, 100 times more memory, or disk space, or it does totally unnecessary work, many times over. It became possible, easy, and pleasant to write software this way that met the real needs of business.

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