The Struggle Is My Own and It Is Crushing


In the industry I inhabit there is one overarching rule that all must heed or suffer. It operates more like a law of nature than anything else, kind of like a reverse hermit crab.

Regular hermit crabs grow and then have to find a bigger shell to protect them. In a reverse hermit crab situation the shell is what grows and if you are looking to stay protected you need to grow with it. Otherwise it will be to big to carry and you will starve. The shell is the industry itself.

This seems pretty grim for but I felt that there need was some processing that needed to happen and everyone loves a good story.

The Reverse Hermit

…Or at least a mediocre story

Behold, The Reverse Hermit Crab

Observe the reverse hermit crab! A typical day starts out typically, food is consumed, the waters current is sniffed and safe directions are chosen. Ah! But, there is a problem with the reverse hermit crab. It seems that overnight his shell has grown and now he must face the possibility of being eatin. What is a poor hermit crab to do? How did he get into such a predicament.

The story goes that one day a hermit crab was tired of hunting for a new shell all the time and wished he could make his own shell like the clam down the street. So he went to Granny Star Fish who happened to have magical powers. They were left over from when her ancestors were actual stars. Why they chose to be star fish she does not know but if you asked her, she could go on for hours. She would mostly complain about her sister and how she has one extra arm than them and how that, some how makes her better? Oy vey.

…. where was I ? 

Oh yes, the reverse hermit crab had wished on Granny Star Fish that his shell would grow, but failed to mention that he too would grow with it. As most wishes do, requiring an oddly specific execution of the request, the wish was granted and the next morning the reverse hermit crab found that if he is to keep any shell he chooses he must grow with it.

Reverse Hermit Confusion

Moral of the story

We in the web industry have a bit of a reverse hermit crab happening. I feeeel it. What I need to know to complete a portion of some critical projects is huge. Several technologies, a php framework, a new type of server and a project architecture that might as well be an alien landscape or the inside of a jet engine. It is not beyond my ability to learn, but my shell is way too big right now and it is only getting bigger.

I see two solutions for this. I am a pretty big hermit crab already and I know I could fill this shell only in knowledge, time is another story. Given enough time I could saddle the shell on my back and plod along very slowly or I could keep on growing and build a team around me, that I might not carry the burden alone.

I know I started out this post with the word Crushing but we story tellers often start out in dark places so we can make a point. This is only growing pains and when you feel the weight of your industry (shell) pressing down on you know that it means you are in a good place and its time to grow. That means that a bigger shell is available to you and how you fill it is important. Also it’s your decision.

hermits together