Collection of Fun Business Laws

In this page I just want to write down bunch of fun business laws and observations with links so not to forget for myself mainly. Page is wip so I may add stuff later 😉

Note, those laws are in no particular order.

1. Dunning-Kruger effect or “Why incompetent people think they’re amazing”:

 

2. Parkinson’s law of triviality (also called Bike-Shedding) summary (quote via Wikipedia):
In the third chapter, “High Finance, or the Point of Vanishing Interest”, Parkinson writes about a fictional finance committee meeting with a three-item agenda: The first is the signing of a £10 million (£220 million in 2016 due to inflation) contract to build a reactor, the second a proposal to build a £350 (equivalent to £7,700 in 2016) bicycle shed for the clerical staff, and the third proposes £21 (equivalent to £460 in 2016) a year to supply refreshments for the Joint Welfare Committee.

The £10 million number is too big and too technical, and it passes in two and a half minutes. One committee member proposes a completely different plan, which nobody is willing to accept as planning is advanced, and another who understands the topic has concerns, but does not feel that he can explain his concerns to the others on the committee.

The bicycle shed is a subject understood by the board, and the amount within their life experience, so committee member Mr Softleigh says that an aluminium roof is too expensive and they should use asbestos. Mr Holdfast wants galvanised iron. Mr Daring questions the need for the shed at all. Holdfast disagrees.

Parkinson then writes: “The debate is fairly launched. A sum of £350 is well within everybody’s comprehension. Everyone can visualise a bicycle shed. Discussion goes on, therefore, for forty-five minutes, with the possible result of saving some £50. Members at length sit back with a feeling of accomplishment.”

Parkinson then described the third agenda item, writing: “There may be members of the committee who might fail to distinguish between asbestos and galvanised iron, but every man there knows about coffee – what it is, how it should be made, where it should be bought – and whether indeed it should be bought at all. This item on the agenda will occupy the members for an hour and a quarter, and they will end by asking the secretary to procure further information, leaving the matter to be decided at the next meeting.”

More info in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_triviality 

 

3. Conway’s law – “organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations” (M. Conway)

More info in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_law 

 

4. Peter principle – people tend to be promoted until the level of their incompetence.

More info in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

 

5. Brook’s law – originally about software development but I believe we can safely expand to more fields – adding people to a late project is going to make it later. Stated in the Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks. Note, this book is absolutely must read and I listed it here as well: https://worklifenotes.com/2018/06/12/it-management-books-1/ 

 

6. Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

More info in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstadter%27s_law

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