All is Very Lost
As I continue to mourn the end of ABC’s groundbreaking series Lost – you’re probably still in the midst of feeling quite sick from hearing all the crying and kvetching from the castaway fans.
One symptom of the series ending that I’m left with is a lingering desire to create analogies to the show – a quasi Lost-Traumatic Stress Disorder, probably stemming from the constant need every Tuesday night to find connections among random tangents and make sense out of them.
And this is one of mine. Here’s my assessment of eight major characters on Lost who you should recruit as ideal stakeholder types during a typical Web dev project.
1. Jacob – The highest authority and longest resident on your organizational island: He is protector, overseer, the all-knowing. When knocked out of the game (or kicked into the fire, as it were), he’ll come back to haunt your project (in the most avuncular of ways) to whisper truisms in your ear. Meet your C-Level Exec/Senior Manager/President.
2. Jack – Aka “the man of science.” This should be your project and/or account manager. Someone who possesses the delicate balance of courage and logic – who yanks out chunks of project fuselage from your bloody gashes with a smile and guides you through a polar bear-filled forest of problems.
3. John Locke (pre-Smoke Monster*) – Aka “the man of faith.” This most mysterious of islanders is a good metaphor for clients, as he endured much and had his faith constantly tested. But, if you learn to speak their language and stay on their good side, you can be in Locke-step with them for life (and a Flash sideways afterlife, too, if need be).
4. Kate – This should be your executive office support or APM – a strong sounding board and solid means of support. Someone who has your back, serves as a surrogate parental figure, and calls you out on your stuff. (Wet hair optional.)
5. Sawyer – A big dollop of feisty on wry bread. That basically sums up Sawyer’s personality, along with his typical utterance of “SOB” when things go south. However debatable, he’s rather spot-on for your developer type.
6. Desmond – He’s your sweaty bloke down in the hatch punching magic numbers to save the world, while bestowing his gift of prognostication. Throw in his built-in magnetism, and you’ve got your head of Sales.
7. Charlie – A musician filled with a mixed bag of ego and sacrificial lamb, Charlie’s a good metaphor for your catch-all of creatives/information architects. Like all good wingmen, even when under water, they’re still very desperately trying to get their message across (“Not Penny’s Boat,” in Charlie’s case).
8. Hurley – Okay, so this guy hasn’t had much initial luck: a cursed lottery ticket and time spent between padded walls. However, Hurley eventually rides the tide to become a good caretaker and offer a sense of comic relief. Out of everyone, he has the steepest trajectory to the ultimate promotion: Jacob’s successor. This is the resilient, fun spirit you’ll want in an intern. Dude.
Oh yeah, and one last thing: Take this to heart only if you’re aiming for your project to avoid an Oceanic 815-type landing. There are just no donkey wheels and magnetic properties to help revoke disaster in the Web world. Yet.
See you in another blog, brotha,
*Disclaimer: The Smoke Monster (on Lost and on any typical Web project) reserves the right to inhabit anyone at any time. However, results may vary.