The NIH Syndrome.
If you were to ask Google or Wikipedia what the dreaded 'Not Invented Here' syndrome was, you would probably find a definition that reads something like this:
"An unwillingness to adopt or use ideas, technology or products created or used by others...".
The definition may go on to say that the reason for this unwillingness lies in a tendency to undervalue the work of others or perhaps an unwillingness to learn from others. This leads to a desire to re-invent the wheel because you're so sure yours will be wheelier - or something.
So in order not to suffer the dreaded NIH, be willing to explore the fruits of other people's labour - insofar as that is legal and ethical, of course.
Great! Show me some of that there Ruby code you're hackin' on, my good man!
Wait, not so fast.
See, I was introduced to the term - or more specifically the acronym NIH - in an entirely different context. I used to work with a large team of developers who all worked on different parts of a monolithic IT system that we were contracted to maintain.
Don't get me started on technical debt...
Very often we would need to collaborate with third party vendors or other contractors to attempt to resolve a technical issue. More often than not we would encounter a situation where an existing error could be fixed or avoided if one of those third parties could be convinced to escalate the problem back up their own supply chains and request a fix from the relevant source. But this was very often not done. Because it's easier and quicker to find a way to work around the problem than it would be to get it fixed.
The problem was Not Invented Here, so I won't do anything to try to fix it.
At Dauntless we take the idea of owning your lens very seriously. Every individual brings their own life experience, personality and - for better or worse - their frustrations to the jobs that they do every day. That's your lens. Your view of the world is unique to you - nobody else sees exactly what you see. Only you have the ability to make observations through your lens. So you may very well be the only one to see a particular opportunity for making improvements.