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Should I reuse existing solutions or build everything from scratch?

Use what's available and free at hand first! No shame in doing something others could blame you for as long as it's part of a strategy that'll give you an edge.

People may criticise you for being lazy but it if gives you an edge... go for it!

I once worked on a project in which an application had been developed and my task was to integrate it in a local project. I did my best to make it work but it wasn't ready at all. Bugs and missing functionalities made it just unworkable at that time.

I did work a lot with the developer to fix things and identity gaps, yet in the end to keep to the schedule I ended up using a mix of the app and new features on my side.

Had I cut corners and by passed the app I'd have used existing external libraries and gone much faster, finishing the project early. I'd have then had time to work with the other developer on integrating his work, in a much smoother way than what was done.

Not always an easy call but often a much wiser decision.

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