Hammer vs. Nail Gun

I've been fortunate enough to be involved in building some amazing things. Some of those have been companies, and some of those have been actual physical structures. Either way, I figured out far too late in life that I'm at my happiest when I'm engaged in building something; preferably in a hands-on kind of way.

One of the structures I'm most proud of is a cabin I built with some help from my brothers a few years ago. It isn't that it is particularly significant building in size or design. And it didn't cost a lot to build or require that much skill (otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish it). It's only for sleeping. But it is a tidy little structure and my family and I love it. (note: the picture shows the cabin mid-construction - although the unpainted stripes are quite fashionable)

cabininprogress.jpgSince our property is so remote, and I don't own a generator (or smart enough to rent one), it was constructed almost completely with hand tools. I did employ some battery-powered tools, but once my limited number of battery packs ran out, I was back to arm strong tools.

When I did a rough tally of the number person-days that went in to it's construction, I landed around 90. It took me two full summers to finish it and pretty much exhausted my family's patience with me. While they were vacationing, I was building. And then there were my solo trips where I would just work around the clock only to come home and collapse.

All the effort that went into that cabin has made me very proud of the outcome. But something awful happened a year ago on my trip to close-up for the winter; I helped a friend on the lake build some beams for a boathouse that was falling into the water. No, that's not awful. But I used a good nail gun for the first time in 30+ years of building things.

Now I feel like a complete ass. I laminated two 16 foot beams with 3 layers of 2x12's in around an hour. I will NEVER, build another structure without a nail gun. Incredible.

After I calmed down and quit beating myself up, I immediately thought of the parallels with software. Sick, I know...but it is my job...and my calling.

That was the final push to build mercanix for me; we had a nail gun, and it could save a lot of time and effort. You can't hold it in your hand and fire nails into wood, but it is pretty handy in our view. We hope it helps you, the company builders.


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