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{ Category Archives } Business and organization

Botali and Me

Kinda working blue here — that’s the way the Boulder crowd goes.

That’s Me

There I am, giving my talk at Ignite Boulder on Big Organizations That Act Like Idiots.  Here are the slides.

Dealing with Lawyers

Anyone who is interested in startups — how they work, what makes them work — and especially anyone who has any thoughts of actually starting a startup should read Paul Graham’s blog/essays. (Paul doesn’t make it easy for you. He doesn’t publish new essays very regularly — I know, I’m not one to talk — […]

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Second Law of Change

If you aren’t happy with your current situation, then change something. If it gets worse, change back. If it gets better, keep going that direction.

First Law of Change

People are willing to do almost anything to improve a bad situation — except change.

The Cat Herding Principle

It’s legendary how difficult it can be to herd cats. I have observed, however, that it can be possible to convince a bunch of cats to chase the same mouse. (Update: “Chase”, dammit. How many times did I read that over and not see the typo until now?)

Not So Stupid

If you see something stupid, always ask “Is this really stupid? What would make this the smartest possible choice under the circumstances? How is this the most rewarding option of all?” Many times you’ll find that stupid people are smarter than you think.

Carl’s Corollary

Consider two of the axiomatic observations of the General Theory of Idiocy: The SNAFU Principle: “In any social hierarchy, the noise added to a communication between individuals in that hierarchy is directly proportional to the distance between them, and the factor of proportionality will be proportional to the perceived risk to them.” The Multivariate Peter […]

The Multivariate Peter Principle

Most people have heard of the original Peter Principle: “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” Still, it’s been a long time since Peter’s book, so let’s just recall what he said. Consider any hierarchical system with people in it. Someone starts, say, in the mail room; as an […]

The “Pays Peter” Principle

A corollary to the Law of Rewards: If a system (or people in a system) are doing something stupid and doing it consistently, it’s not stupid. Whatever it is, it’s what the system rewards them for doing.