When #noestimates work

Architecture Corner is in my opinion a very good example of an #noestimates endeavour.

When Greger, Joakim an I started the Youtube channel four years ago, we saw it as an experiment and didn’t estimate either time or cost to do the episodes.

For years later, we have made more then 70 episodes and 7 short films about different topics in the intersection between business and IT.

We didn’t have any detailed plans, only a vision what we wanted and we learned from each season.

But, this was not sponsored by our employeer. It was started as a hobby project, and still run it in the same way, even if the production from a legal perspective is done by a media company. Because it was our own time and money, and we can stop or pause whenever we want, we didn’t need to do estimates.

On avarage, each episode takes 40h of work in preparation, production, post-production and distribution. The effort for the shortfilm was probably about 1000 h of work, as a lot of people were involved in the actual production. In these figures, the time to learn film production is not included. These figures for effort that we have today, we didn’t have them in the beginning and we didn’t care. We just made the films.

We begun using consumer cameras and today we use professional equipment. Something we didn’t estimate for either when we started with recording episode #1.

Then comes the other question, is it profitable? 

We have put down 4000 h of work, not counting cost for used equipment and have zero revenue.

If it was a product for sale, this would be a dud, but if we look at this from a marketing and educational perspective, it’s another story.

If you don’t need time or money from somebody else, and you don’t need to be profitable, then #noestimates is fine. Ditto if you can afford a certain amount of time and money, and stop or pause when you reach the limit.

On the other hand, I’m involved in a short film where we have a fixed script, more than 20 persons involved, limited budget and limited time for production. This is why we need have a detailed plan. But, if I haven’t done the previous mentioned short films before, I wouldn’t been able to schedule this new production.