The book and its cover

It is odd how we make decisions, sometimes really big decisions are made not based on logic or careful evaluation but on less important almost meaningless characteristics.

Consider selling your house, you go to your realtor, perhaps he comes in an looks around and suggests some options.  Some of these options may include

1) Having your house professionally staged (rented furniture and accessories brought in, which are not part of the sale but make the house look nicer

2) Painting the walls a 'neutral' color to attract buyers

3) Having the scent of fresh baked cookies in the house as potential buyers walk in.

Of course, none of the options above have anything to do with the house, the house could be beautifully constructed built to last 200 years or thrown together with some DIY project by a couple of guys on a weekend, and yet the advice is the same.

Now - look at it from the other perspective. Ever go house shopping?  You walk into the house look around with your partner, one of you says, "Ugg that carpet, or what a horrible color this room is?". The first thing you see is the superficial, and you put a lot of weight towards it, you judge it is as 'not move in ready', because of that red wall or the doilies on the coffee table.  Again, none of this has anything to do with how 'good' the house is. Only your first impression.

You go do a job interview, you wear your best shirt and tie. It maybe the only time you wear that shirt and tie on the job the rest of your career..why? because you want to make a good first impression.

A few years back I created a special set of tools that later become to be called 'The Enterprise Framework'.  The framework is a thing of beauty (at least in my eyes). It's promise was to make web development easier and faster by automating a lot of the 'grunt work' in creating objects, and databases. It would allow the programmer to focus more on the desired functionality  and less on those critical (but often tedious)  tasks that no one really 'sees'.

I designed it with "Themes".  The idea that you could change the look and feel of those elements to your hearts desire, without having to worry about changing the functionality.  Like this very blog, the overall look/feel can be easily changed, without affecting the content or functionality.

Feeling 'proud' of my creation, I released software using it, but the initial look/feel. The initial 'Theme' was not particularly attractive.  Knowledge of styles, coloring is not one of my best traits, in fact I used different fonts all over the place in strange ways and was clearly blind to why this was a bad idea.

In the end, the framework was not adopted as well as my hopes and dreams, at least in part because of 'first impression'

People may - "Don't judge a book by its cover" - but we are lying to ourselves to admit actually practicing  that adage.   How often do we simply walk past that book on the bookshelf, and pick one that looks fancier and 'catches our initial interest'.

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