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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Hundredth Idiot (or, why not to read business books)

One hundred idiots make idiotic plans and carry them out. All but one justly fail. The hundredth idiot, whose plan succeeded through pure luck, is immediately convinced he's a genius.
--Iain M Banks, MATTER
Iain Banks makes one of the most astute observations I've ever read.

This is so applicable to:

  1. The business model de jour: How To Use Social Networks To Facilitate Enterprise Application Development!
  2. The development model de jour: Standing On Your Head To Increase Bloodflow and Facilitate New Development Methodologies!
Now, before you hie off on the "next big thing", remember that most of these "big things" are just hundredth idiots. Or, you can read a book like The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks and ask yourself: how is it that a book written 35 years ago, about a project completed 45 years ago is still 95% relevant?

Could it be that there's nothing new under the sun?

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