For three years now I’ve been running a small software business in my spare time. It has been a very educational experience, especially in showing me that many things we think we know about software, programming, business, and the like are wrong. This is a bit of a shock, especially for well-worn chestnuts which have intuitive appeal, which we have come to invest with moral significance, and (most importantly, because we all think we’re smart) we’ve believe so self-evidently true as to make investigation a waste of time.
For example: I have come to the conclusion, over the last three years, that working hard is overrated. This is an idea I have been kicking around for a while, but it was thrown into sharp relief by a blog post entitled The Only Alternative Is To Work Harder, by a gentleman named Paras Chapra over at Wingify. Paras and I have corresponded over email a few times, so I say as one analytics junkie to another: the notion that working longer hours is correlated to better business results is a pernicious social pathology.