Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

Four Laws of Software Economics

Rich Mironov has put together Four Laws Of Software Economics and I think they’re absolutely on point.

Here’s a brief summary in the form of some of my favourite quotes:

The Law of Ruthless Prioritization

Reality #1: Your development team will never, ever, ever be big enough

Development can never build as fast as we can dream up new things

[D]evelopment teams live in an EXCLUSIVE-OR world. There is no white space, no unallocated resource, no empty slots at the top of the backlog. If we’re going to insert that special configuration option that our VP Sales is sure will close a $28M deal with Deutsche Bank, something else won’t get done.

Until we decide what few things are truly important, mostly unimportant things get done

The Law of Build Once, Sell Many

All of the profits are in the nth copy or nth user.

Building software is a mostly fixed-cost effort but additional copies are nearly free as long as we can resell the identical bits.

Focusing on the nth copy means that every one-off feature (built for a single customer) steals development leverage from something more interesting to our market segment.

The Law of Whole Product

the software bits we release are not the product. Rather, they are part of the product.

We need a story that matters to our audience and earns us their attention.

[M]ost of the success of a product is determined before we assign our first developer

If we’ve started drilling in the wrong place, Engineering can’t dig us out of our product/market problem.

The Law of Strategic Judgment

[Y]ou can’t outsource your strategy

Revenue estimates for new features or products have huge error bars

[Tools] are all important inputs to a product direction and prioritization of the short-term backlog. But none of them deliver definitive answers. As executives and product leaders, we have to weigh many inputs, make hard trade-offs, synthesize a strategy, and own the (uncertain future) results. We have to develop and apply judgment.


Go read them in full and let me know what you think!