Here is a series of brief excerpts from one of the chapters in Rework, co-authored by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. It was published by Crown Business/Random House in 2010.
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“I don’t have enough time/money/people/experience.” Stop whining. Less is a good thing. Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.
For example, “Southwest – unlike most other airlines, which fly multiple aircraft models – flies only Boeing 737s. As a result, every Southwest pilot, flight attendant, and ground crew member can work any flight. Plus, all of Southwest’s parts fit all of its planes. All that means lower costs and a business that’s easier to run. They made it easy on themselves.
“These days, we [i.e. 37signals, a software company that Fried and Hansson co-founded years ago] have more resources and people, but we still force constraints. We make sure to have only one or two people working on a product at a time. And we always keep features to a minimum. Boxing ourselves in this way prevents us from creating bloated products.
“So before you sing the ‘not enough’ blues, see how far you can get with what you have.”
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Although Eliyahu Goldratt introduced a similar concept in Theory of Constraints in 1990, I think his most important work is The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (first published in 1984 and most recently revised 2004). In it, Goldratt develops the concept to a much greater extent.