by Scott Brinker Article
“1. Moore’s Law
The most famous technology law of all time: the performance of hardware doubles about every 2 years. … Witness the Osborne computer from 30 years ago next to a circa-2009 iPhone — the iPhone is 100 times faster and almost 500 times smaller. …
2. Wirth’s Law
The ironic corollary to Moore’s Law, Wirth’s Law states: software gets slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster. … This is why the latest version of Microsoft Office running on a new computer seems to run about the same speed as an older version of Office running on an older machine. …
3. Brooks’ Law
A technology law that has been the bane of managers for decades, Brooks’ Law says: adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. … there are two reasons why this is generally true:
- It takes some time for new people added to a project to become productive (“ramp up time“), which sucks time away from the existing team members to educate them.
- Communication overhead increases as the number of people increases.
4. Hofstadter’s Law
Related to Brooks’ Law is the lovely paradox of Hofstadter’s Law: it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. It’s a recursive statement on the difficulty of accurately estimating the time to complete tasks of any substantial complexity. …
5. Segal’s Law
Short but sweet, Segal’s Law is relevant for anyone involved in marketing measurement (i.e., everyone in marketing): a man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure. If you’ve ever spent time trying to get two different web analytics packages to report the same numbers, you already have a deep appreciation for this law. …
6. Conway’s Law
Conway’s Law is my favorite: any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it. … software — and other complex systems, such as web sites and marketing operations processes — reflect both the structure and culture of the organizations that create them. This is why there is so much opportunity for differentiation for innovative products and services, even in crowded markets. For example, personal finance was a pretty mature category when Mint.com launched in 2007. Yet their fresh ideas, intuitive UX design, and simple workflow won them millions of users….
7. Metcalfe’s Law
Saving the best for last, Metcalfe’s Law states: the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users. Robert Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, first formulated this law to characterize the benefits of having compatible communications devices — e.g., computer networks, fax machines, etc. — adopted by a growing number of people.
This exponential increase in value emerges because of the number of pair connections within a group of N people is equal to (N)(N-1)/2 — which is approximately N2. Or, put more simply, a network’s value grows exponentially. At least up to any human limit to take advantage of these interconnections.”