Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman, the creators of the do-it-yourself blog ABeautifulMess.com are amazing at what they do. Over the past six years, their mix of recipes, photography projects, and other fun arts and crafts ideas, have amassed them a following of over 1.5 million visitors per month.
They came to my company with the premise for a “cute photo app that you add little sayings or doodles to your pictures and share them with friends.” I’ll bet no developer reading this has ever seen “doodles” on a requirements document, let alone it being the only requirement on a non-existent requirements document. When we started the project, I immediately reverted to a character I call the “Defensive Developer.” This character says things like, “We need requirements! There’s a ton of photo apps! What if they want to add on things? It could TOTALLY mess up my architecture! I mean we’re building a house here people!”