Challenge the Assumptions


Our assumptions bindand blind us. Often we believe them with no evidence, simply because everybody else does. They have no reason, no logic: they just are. Challenge assumptions and you can change the world.



There is no such thing as the business of software.Software should be free. In 1976, Bill Gates challenged this assumption. He’s done quite well out of it.



There’s no room for a new search engine. In 1999, Altavista had search sewn up. It was the unassailable king of search. Google challenged that assumption. Now the assumption is, yet again, that there is no room for a new search engine. What if that assumption is wrong?



We should work 9 to 5, and be measured by our input not our output. Historically, when we were all basket weavers or pin makers, interchangeable cogs, fixed working hours made sense. People are now challenging this. In Brazil, Ricardo Semler is experimenting in industrial democracy. Workers set their own salaries and hire and fire their managers. When somebody tries to fill in a timesheet, Semler sends them away, not knowing what to do with the information. What if we all followed this example? What if we worked when and where we wanted, and if we were judged on what we produce and not the hours we keep? What if we removed all mention of hours to be worked
from our contracts?



China is an unstoppable economic force, and that’s bad. That’s what most people are saying, but is it true?… And if it really is an unstoppable economic force, what do an extra 1.4 billion potential customers mean for you? Is that really bad news?



Software is a people-intensive craft. At the moment it is, but does it have to be? What if we’re currently in the pre-industrial revolutionary stage of software development? Or the era – only 140 years ago – before the standard screw, when a bolt from one city wouldn’t fit a nut from another? Can software development become industrialized? And will it, and should it? And how will this change your business? Already, some are pushing software factories as the next big thing.



Via [Business ofSoftware]



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