There is a balance between developers and sales people that allows them to get along. This is sometimes the result of one team pushing the other to its limits, often the sales team pushing the limits of the engineering system already in place. Its a dance that happens within startups everday.
Through planning, brainstorming, innovation, and sales – these groups have to work together in companies to get things done.
The power of the ignorance on the business/sales team side provides a childlike imagination that creates scenarios nobody has thought of, are not relavent, are overly complicated, and my personal favorite “computationally expensive” on the product. Engineering can have the same imagination, but it is usually tied to the work necessary to complete the task and operates within the realm of possibility of the app. Vetting the technical feasibility ideas is the job of a strong engineering team keeps things in check. They are always making room for innovation, growth, scaling, and constant looking at security concerns.
The balance comes from the “asks” from each group that are constantly in flux.
On the one hand, the business team assumes anything is possible. Although technically this is true, engineering teams think in binary terms and all requests have a cost to other projects and future support.
Product planning is never easy, and prioritization is even harder. When you work on a web/mobile application either of those can change at a moments notice and a team has to be able to pivot in another direction at a thousand miles per hour.
Turn to fast and things get out of control. Turn too slowly, and you miss the mark completely.
I believe both teams need each other to stay in check. The ignorance of the business team to dream big, and the reality of the engineering team to keep things on the ground – and vice versa. It is not always the same balance, but the constant struggle between both groups is what breeds amazing products.
I have learned that these skill sets that can only be learned in a live environment which results in a win for users, customers, and the Internet at large as a result of this never ending storm.