The Naysayers guide to business on why to say no to new-age architecture
Naysayer's Guide

Stop MACHing Me: Why to Say No to New-Age Architecture

Speaker Image The Naysayer
The Naysayer
July 2022

Acronyms can be useful. Here are a few: CPR, scuba, BOGO. All helpful, logical, even beautiful. But some acronyms are simply blasphemy. Case in point: MACH. 

Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless. Some hotshot startup frankensteined together these fever-dream nonsense words to make up the commerce model MACH. If you ask me, it should be called HWWE: Huh? What? Why? And Excuse me?

The Naysayers guide to business on why to say no to new-age architecture

Despite its clearly nonsensical nature, more companies are starting to “think bigger” and dip their toes into MACH-infested waters. As a legacy commerce platform, I believe it’s my responsibility to take some preventative measures. I’m issuing this guide to protect all monoliths from this modern enemy. Letter by letter, here’s why you should just say no to MACH.

Microservices

This pillar is about breaking larger solutions down into individual capabilities, apparently letting companies “move faster” and “work efficiently.” I don’t buy it. What happened to the days of giant, hearty, one-stop commerce platforms for everything you’d ever need? No one’s ever been happy by downsizing. Have you ever slept in a tiny home or eaten a 6 oz. steak? You don’t leave satisfied, that’s for sure.

Why do you need tiny little services for every capability? That just sounds annoying. How would I get to control everything? It’s just not right. Updates should happen on my timeline (once a year, depending on the year) — not that of some specialized development team.

Faster responses might seem appealing, but what happens after you make the update? Then what do you do? Stare at a blinking cursor? With the traditional way, you can take your time and stretch it out. Remember, there’s only a rush if you believe there should be one. Commerce isn’t about moving fast, it’s about filling your days.

API-first

APIs supposedly give companies access to new commerce features and capabilities without having to build them in-house. Sure. I’ll be honest, I don’t even really understand this one. Every time someone starts explaining “API” I zone out and start thinking about my collection of Cheers on DVD. Did you know Norm and Cliff weren’t originally supposed to be recurring characters? Man, I’d kill for a drink at that bar. They just don’t make shows like that anymore. Anyway, what were we talking about?

You really want to go hunting for “best of breed” vendors just to make your customers’ lives easier? Commerce isn’t a pet shop. You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. Anyone with parents worth their salt should’ve learned that lesson. Sure, you could find something better. But you eat what’s on your plate — and use what your platform gives you. No debates. 

People who use “monolithic” as an insult are just jealous that I do it all. If you ask me, monolithic is terrific. Whatever you need, I will get to eventually. There’s no need to poke around and assemble an army of little APIs to replace me. API first? Try API never. (Can someone put that on a bumper sticker?)

The Naysayers guide to business on why to say no to new-age architecture

Cloud-native

People are flocking toward commerce solutions that were built in the cloud, for the cloud. You know what else was built for the cloud? Rain. Hail. Sleet. Would you want any of those in charge of commerce? I think not. Your circuits would be fried and your products sopping wet. 

I can’t believe people really think “infinite scaling” is possible. Every cloud ends somewhere. Don’t be hoodwinked into thinking you can grow into the ether. The limit does exist — and when I find it, you won’t hear the end of it.

I’ve had enough of hearing about people abandoning their owned data centers to start selling in the cloud. Is earth not good enough? Sure, maybe pilots and flight attendants could find value in moving to the cloud — they spend enough time up there. But your average Joe Schmo is better off on solid ground, big machines whirring within earshot. If the CPUs in your data center aren’t enough, you’re aiming too big.

Headless

Decoupling the frontend and the backend, huh? Every time I hear this I feel like my sanity is being decoupled from my mind. There shouldn’t even be a frontend or backend. It should just be an end. Just take a deep breath. When you learn to be satisfied with what you have, there’s no need to tinker behind the scenes.

People are so afraid of disrupting their user experience with new releases. But your customers should be able to handle a little downtime. If your site always runs perfectly, they won’t appreciate it as much. New solutions promise “releases anytime.” To me, that sounds exhausting. Commerce platforms need time to rest too. Doesn’t anyone appreciate a good ol’ fashioned break anymore?

I mean seriously, headless? With a face like this? You’d have to be kidding yourself. My head is one of my biggest strengths. Don’t believe me? Then why have I been called headstrong my entire life? Your customers can wait. Downtime and lengthy feature updates are a part of life — you’d have to be headless to think that should change.

Keep Blocking MACH

It should be clear that all of these trendy new features just make a MACH-ery of your business. People get so worried about innovating and “responding to customer demand” that they forget what’s really important: doing the bare minimum and logging off at 3 p.m. Ok, you’re right — 2 p.m.

Don’t waste your time plugging into a 5G, wireless, cryptocurrency, cloud hotspot on MACH. Stick to what works — monolithic, data center, head-on commerce. If you hear MACH calling your name, just respond with one of my favorite acronyms: TTYL.

For more legacy commerce wisdom, follow @naysayallday on Twitter.

Speaker Image The Naysayer
The Naysayer
July 2022

Commerce innovation? In this climate? I’m your legacy tech - where big ideas go to die. Best Commerce Platform to take home to your parents. #NaySlay

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