software engineering and random stuff blog

28 Sep 2020

What did you undesign?

In the video above Eric Berger from Ars Technica asks the question on how Elon Musk and the team at SpaceX build the iteration of Starship within 45 months and how they’d go so fast. Here is the transcript for those who want to read instead of listening:

Eric Berger: How did you go so fast?

Elon Musk: I have this mantra: if the schedule is long, it’s wrong. If it’s tight, it’s right. Basically just have recursive improvement on schedule. And say with every feedback loop: Did this make it go faster? If it didn’t, we gonna need to fix it. If the design takes a long time to build, it’s the wrong design. This is the fundamental thing. The tendency is to complicate things. I have another: the best part is no part. The best process is no process. It weights nothing, it costs nothing. Can’t go wrong. As obvious as that sound. The best part is no part. The thing I’m most impressed with when I have the design meetings at SpaceX is: what did you undesign? Undesigning is the best thing. Just delete it. That’s the best thing.

Tell me, did you undesign something in your projects recently? Or are you in a scenario where you are only adding more and more stuff?

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