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Invented Here!

Invented Here!

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I suspect somewhere in your career you have encountered the Not Invented Here problem. A new person joins the team but their new idea is summarily rejected. Perhaps it was a genuinely bad idea. Or, perhaps it is just different – not invented here – and a good idea is lost. Individuals, teams, businesses, all can have this problem.


Credit: Ramon Vullings


This is normal human cognition. “Our” tools and ideas we know very well, warts and all. We understand and appreciate the good in our own ideas. The bad, well we know that too, and we have figured out how to live with it. No need to change. By contrast, “your” ideas and tools are unknown. Unknown means scary and potentially dangerous.


A few months ago, Infineon bought Cypress. Each company had its own way of doing things. I can’t speak for giant corporate mergers. I can speak to my little world within this larger effort, which focuses on developer tools and GitHub.


Over the past few years the “legacy Cypress” side of the house put a lot of thought into the design of our tools built on GNU make. I’m a UI kind of guy. Can you say Not Invented Here?  With a little time and familiarity, I not only warmed up to the design, I can say (IMHO) that it is a brilliant design. Nothing is ever perfect, and details can drive you crazy, but the architecture is extraordinarily well thought out. It is the best I’ve ever seen. (Sure I work here, but I don’t blow smoke.)


I connected with my new colleagues in Europe and we’re now talking about how to merge our GitHub presence. “Legacy Infineon” and “Legacy Cypress” each have processes. On the Cypress side how we use GitHub is all wrapped up in our tools architecture. We need to be careful to not break stuff. The “Legacy Infineon” side has different use cases, including more open collaborative development.


We have everyone looking at alternatives, and there is zero Not Invented Here going on. We have people understanding, adapting, and sometimes changing to better ways of doing things. “Better” means better for customers. So this is good news for you. I think the reason for this is we all very quickly redefined what “here” means. Here is here. No more “legacy Cypress” or “legacy Infineon.”


So, here’s a thought from one of our engineers.


“I had the opportunity to see how your dependency system works, and how you use GitHub repositories to handle your projects and dependencies. I am truly delighted by the elegance and scalability of your system. It is impressive what you were able to achieve!!!!!”


Sure I like to brag on our work. That’s a nice little benefit but not what matters. What is important here is the willingness to look at new ideas. I work to achieve that personally. I am thrilled to report so do most of my colleagues. That means in the future you’re going to get the best of both worlds. Not the left hand or the right hand, but both hands working to create powerful and capable tools solutions, invented here.


Your thoughts always welcome! Cheers!