March 20th, 2011 Sean Murphy
In his introduction to his interview with Fred Brooks, John Cook has another great passage.
The shelf life of software development books is typically two or three years, maybe five or ten years for a “classic.” Frederick Brooks, however, wrote a book on software development in 1975 that remains a best-seller: The Mythical Man-Month. His book has remained popular because he wrote about human nature as applied to software development, not the hottest APIs and development fads from the 1970’s.
The implications of human nature in constraining software development, whether at an individual or team level, is probably the least appreciated challenge in doing a software startup, second only to the need to find a paying customer.
As entrepreneurs we have to change before we can change the world. If we want to take our customers beyond their current limits, we must map and respect our own personal limits, and those of their co-founders and team. Plans that don’t recognize reality, in particular acknowledging and respecting our limits as well as leveraging our strengths, don’t come to fruition.
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