I found myself saying,
"You can look at what they have and critique it and come up with all these ideas of what they should have built instead, but how about finding out why they ended up with what they have?”
I think there is this gap in product understanding. You can always say something should have all these features or should work this way instead. But the thing is the way it is right now, because a certain set of decisions were made. The builders had certain goals in mind, made some choices, made some mistakes, and faced certain constraints. There are always constraints.
Things can always be improved, and very often should be. I’m not saying we should let people off the hook for building awesomeness. But I think we should extend that courtesy - that generosity of perspective - to the builders to understand why they have built what they built, instead of perhaps what they would have liked to build in an ideal world.
Because if you understand their goals, their constraints and mistakes, then it becomes much easier to solve problems and actually make things better - make things closer to how you would have done it.
I’m guilty of this behavior, myself, but on my better days I remember to dig into exactly what Ailian talks about.