Monday, 27 March 2000
The whole is more difficult than the sum of its parts. This theses is best explained with three examples: cross a busy road, fund a house, and software projects.

Cross a road

a busy two lane road

Suppose you're a pedestrian waiting to cross a busy two lane road. There's heavy traffic at both lanes.

  • If you want to cross the entire road in one run, it has to be quiet in both lanes. You'll probably have to wait quite a while.
  • Imagine there is a little park at the centre. You could just start to cross the first lane. At the park you comfortably wait for the right time to cross the second lane.
You'll be faster and more safely at the other side than with one long run.

House mortgage

The logic of crossing a road is valid for financial matters as well.
  • Lending €300,000 in 30 years at 7% interest will cost you around €1,995.- per month. In 30 years that sums up to € 718,200.-
  • Do the same thing in two 9 year stages stages and you'll have a bargain: €1,875.- per month! In 18 years that equals to € 405,000.-
Spend the first 9 years in a €150.000,- house. Pay for it in 9 years. Take a rest, and lend an additional €150.000,- so you can move to a €300,000.- house.

So, you'll save over 40%: € 313,200.-

Mortgage calculator

Annual interest %
Duration years

Software projects

A lot of software projects are too large, are late or aren't even finished. Often these projects are simply too big to get done in one run. You can't do a long march with one giant leap.

Start with a first step, a small piece of functionality and many will follow. Have a break after each step and computing can be a joy.

Tip: Next Wednesday, mentally break your week into two. Weekend will be there faster.

Till next week!