1 min read

Social phenomena surrounding software

I frequently like to read about some particular kinds of social phenomena that arise around software. This is my attempt at making a list of ideas and clusters of ideas that seem interesting. For my own sanity I won't attempt to find the source through which these ideas entered my noggin.

In no particular order:

  1. Worse is better
  2. "Gall's law"
  3. "Shirky's law"
  4. "Postel's law"
  5. "Conway's law"
  6. "Metcalfe's law"
  7. Fire and motion
  8. Embrace, extend, extinguish

(Sadly, Ghost does not seem to support nested lists by default or I'd have clustered these properly.)

This list is just what I could remember offhand and what I could find from Wikipedia. Because of this it seems much shorter than it ought to be. I'm certain I've left off at least this number of things I saw or knew about at one time.

There are some common themes here. The first four of these are about what kinds of software succeed. Others are about what software looks like, or how its value scales. The last two are about tactics sometimes employed in software as a business.

This is far from an exhaustive list, even considered as a list of themes. I'd be interested to know of other things in this general space.