1. Neither a borrower nor a lender be (ref:Polonius): no credit or external funding.
  2. Work on the basis of a 0 budget.
  3. Have a flexible business plan designed to explore, learn and adapt.
  4. Pragmatic on Intellectual Property (IP): speed-to-market over protection. Share information. No software patents.
  5. Put profitability before growth.
  6. Set sensible and reasonable prices, not try to extract maximum $ per customer.
  7. Be different, disruptive, extraordinary: it makes no sense to sell the same as everyone else.
  8. Eliminate/minimise impact to environment.
  9. Focus on people (internal and external), prevent stress.
  10. No spam. Not if you call it “email blast” either. Newsletter for clients is fine.

Revision history

Proposed v1.1 (suggestions welcome!)

While the initial set of principles have worked amazingly well, it has been suggested that after three years it might be time for a review. A cleanup. If possible, make it shorter without losing meaning.

  • Add a principle #0 “All choices have consequences; inaction is also a choice.”
    It has become increasingly clear that most issues hinge on this fundamental fact.
  • Remove “No software patents.” clause from principle #4.
    It is one very specific implementation aspect, and there are many others.
  • Replace principle #10 (“No spam. Not if you call it “email blast” either. Newsletter for clients is fine.”) with a more general principle on community interaction ((thanks Andy Oram), such as “Meaningful and respectful interaction with your community.”

v1.0 (July 2009)

  • Initial principles #1-#10.