10,000 Hours? Binge Modes? Yes or No?

August 26, 2014

in Education, Engineering, Personal Improvement

I have written before about startup advice:  how for every piece of startup advice there is another blog post that does a pretty good job at arguing against it.

Recently, I favorited two tweets that argue against two things I have used before.

The first is an article that argues against the 10,000 hours rule:  which states that if you do anything for 10,000 hours you will become an expert. The article basically says that 10,000 is no a magic number. Some things require much more time than that. And there is a big difference in unfocused versus focused time in how those hours are spent. I agree with this article, but also like the heuristic 10,000 as a tough yet achievable number when you try to think about becoming an expert in something.

The second is an article that argues against using crunch modes (or binge modes) in software development, meaning you shouldn’t sprint but should rather work an even keeled 40 hours per week. The point is that bad things happen when you rush and that years of labor statistics point to 40 hours per week as being an optimal worktime allocation. I agree with the principles of the article, but also believe that binge modes used sparingly can be wonderful for the product, for the team, and for morale.

What are your thoughts on these topics? How do you deal with conflicting startup advice?




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