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What’s Your Start-up’s “Bus Count”? 7 Myths of Entrepreneurship and Programming

1. Myth: You have to hire “ninjas”.

The myth of the hero hacker is one of the most pervasive pathologies to be found in Silicon Valley start-ups: the idea that a lone programmer, fueled by pizza and caffeine, swaddled in headphones, works all hours of the night to build a complex system, all by himself. Time out. Software development, it turns out, is a team sport. All start-ups grow, if they experience any meaningful success. What works for a lone programmer will not work in a company of 10. And what’s worse, encouraging the hero mentality leads to corrosive dysfunction in software teams. Invariably the developers who do a yeoman’s 9-to-5, week after week, cranking out solid features that the business is built on, lose out to the grasping egomaniacs who stay up all night (usually just one night) looking to garner lavish praise. Rather than reward the hero, it’s better to cultivate a true esprit de corps.

There are 6 more myths in this article. I recognise at least 4 of them, and agree with most. As with all Tim Ferriss’ stuff, it is a bit more black and white than most situations allow, or call, for, but it’s a good reminder to sense-check some of your working practices.

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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop rallies troops in brutally honest ‘burning platform’ memo

I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform.
And, we have more than one explosion – we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.
For example, there is intense heat coming from our competitors, more rapidly than we ever expected. Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.”

From:http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/08/nokia-ceo-stephen-elop-rallies-troops-in-brutally-honest-burnin/

 

The burning platform analogy was explained to me recently in the context of inspiring change, and Stephen Elop has put it to good use.