“We end up with a list of things we know are going to take a small amount of time, and other things we know are going to take longer,” Meier said. “We push the longer ones to the bottom of the list. This happens on every software project. That breaks down over a long time line because those big radical changes never happen. It’ll only take five minute to work around it, and I don’t have time to spend to refactor the whole codebase.”

But it is these larger tasks that allow developers to differentiate their products and move them forward. He said that such work does entail more risk, but that the results will allow you to be a first-mover, and to gain the attention available to those who create something unique.

“Know that most of your competitors aren’t willing to take that time. They’re going to take that list of things they can do quickly, and focus on them,” he said. “Our opportunity is to focus on the longer-term elements, and to provide a great user experience or a more efficient application that will run on every device.”