Breaking Some Ironclad Rules about Startups


Joel Spolsky speaking with demonstration atten...

Joel Spolsky

Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood built Stackoverflow.com, a site for programmers to ask other programmers questions. If you haven't been over there, you ought to check it out. They have some very nice concepts for building a community site and it's nicely done. Joel and Jeff have been discussing programming, and the building of Stack Overflow on their weekly show on IT Conversations.

In this article in Inc magazine, Joel talks about seven iron clad rules he has for starting a technology venture:

  1. Vet programmer carefully
  2. Put everyone in one office
  3. Plan
  4. use bug tracking
  5. Test software before releasing it
  6. Measure the success of your venture by its profit

Ironically, Jeff and Joel broke all seven of these and nothing bad happened. In fact something very good resulted. Joel explains why he thinks they cheated the devil in some detail in the article. He concludes with this, however:

The truth is, the three guys who coded Stack Overflow are great programmers. They're smart, and they get things done. And in the end, that's what really matters. Entrepreneurship boils down to the simple fact that a team of really smart people who can get things done are going to get smart, useful things done. Need proof? No problem: Check out stackoverflow.com.
From How Hard Could It Be?: The Unproven Path - technology ventures - Joel Spolsky
Referenced Sat Nov 08 2008 16:03:05 GMT-0700 (MST)