So Many Moving Parts

Watch gears - moving parts

As a kid I was given my great grandfather’s “railroad watch.” It is an elegant and old pocket watch.

When I open the back, you can see some of the gears and moving pieces. There are many, many moving parts.

The beauty of this watch is how everything works together. Each gear is meticulously crafted to meet the standards of its time. Think about what was needed, over 100 years ago, to create this piece of art. I am beyond impressed.

Think of all the moving parts in your business and how they fit together. Inside each section/department/area are more moving pieces.

For example, I’m thinking of all the pieces in this site.

I have a website. The moving parts in the website are WordPress, the database, the hosting, and all the systems that resolve when you type in in your browser.

There’s also a shopping cart to process payments to the merchant account. And all those pieces.

There’s a merchant account that feeds info back to the membership software. And all their parts

The membership software protects the downloadable content from being accessed by anyone unable to login.

There’s an email system that sends updates to customers, and these emails.

There are a lot of moving parts. None of them mesh together as well as the pocket watch my great grandfather owned.

The slightest change can upset the entire system. That’s what happened a less than a week ago.

I updated to our payment processor’s new API. Unfortunately the shopping cart couldn’t talk with it properly. No one could buy anything from our site.

Because we didn’t think it was a big update we didn’t consider testing the change (I know, that was silly). We didn’t know the shopping cart was broken. Everything worked on the front end yet it was delivering errors on payment submission.

I just thought we were having a very bad week. (Thanks to Joe S for the terse email about not being able to purchase.)

After searching the haystack for hours we discovered we were sitting on the needle. All parts are moving in sequence again.

With the watch you can’t replace a piece with some a random part. Everything has to fit perfectly or else nothing works.

It’s the same in sales and business. Or else everything stops.

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