Progressive (Software) Revelation

In Christianity and the study of the scriptures there is this concept called progressive revelation wherein the reality of truths that are originally shared earlier in the scriptures are revealed to be more clear, more full in their understanding later.

In other words, what was once hinted at or barely even intimated or implied is later seen to be concretely understood and fully realized.

One of the more cited examples of this is the coming of Jesus Christ, himself, which was in many instances proclaimed or announced through a variety of channels (e.g. humans, animals, nature, and more) and thus seen as prophecy.

As the Old Testament intersected with what we now define as the New Testament we see all things clearly and that the latter is, in many ways, a lens through and by which we may interpret the former.

This progressive “unfolding and revealing of truth,” if you will, doesn’t just happen in the context of the biblical scriptures; I have liberally borrowed the term and applied it to many facets of life including personal and professional development and even technology and startups.

In terms of startups I believe that progressive revelation is a natural consequence of a small team building products for customers who desire them and then listening for feedback intently and keeping an open mind to discover what is really needed.

Sometimes (most times?) these discoveries are surprising but end up pushing the team into a profoundly different direction – a direction that was never considered originally.

I find this dynamic intriguing, fascinating, exciting, and scary, all at the same time. And, if I’m to be honest, it’s also what keeps me emotionally attached to projects as well. A life full of wonderful surprises is a life worth living.

As software naturally evolves and morphs into different projects / products the motives still stay the same (i.e. the underlying truth, if you will): The desire to see impact, create value, and pursue meaning with our limited and quickly disappearing resources.