When is it OK to throw caution to the winds?

Joel Spolsky has an answer (the short version: if you are smart):

I abandoned seven long-held principles about business and software engineering, and nothing terrible happened. Have I been too cautious in the past? Perhaps I was willing to be a little reckless because this was just a side project for me and not my main business. The experience is certainly a useful reminder that it’s OK to throw caution to the wind when you’re building something completely new and have no idea where it’s going to take you.

For his part, Jeff says he didn’t want our new venture to feel “like work” — that if Stack Overflow wasn’t fun to do, he didn’t want to be doing it. If I had tried to make him play by my rules, I don’t think the project would have come together, at least not as well as it has.

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.

A nice piece, worth pursuing to know at least the seven principles that Spolsky violated.


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