Move Fast and Break Things Isn’t About What You Think

credit: XKCD

“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” – Mark Zuckerberg

It’s not about being reckless. It’s not about being okay with things being broken. It’s about speed. Speed is how Facebook wins the product game. If you want to go fast building software you have understand two facts:

  1. The faster you change and add features, the more mistakes will happen.
  2. The faster you iterate, the faster you can deploy fixes for mistakes.

With web and mobile apps the cost of deploying new versions of software is near $0. $0 requires that you have the ability to quickly deploy code. It also requires you have solid tests to prevent mistakes from being deployed to begin with. Facebook figured this out early. Facebook makes mistakes. Lots of them. But they fix them quickly and deploys code twice a day. That means a mistake might be visible for just a few hours before it is corrected.

Facebook users are apparently fine with it. Facebook’s competition is largely irrelevant at this point.

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