Talk is Cheap

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Rule 3 is becoming an important part of the culture of Nottingham Hackspace.

Talk is very cheap, and hackers love to gabble about stuff, and speculate on the directions a project could go in. Before you can say "Gantt chart", a relatively simple and practical project suddenly morphs into a massive technical specification for something that will, say, automatically display a tiny superfluous lolcat while performing its actual intended function. The person who just wants to get on with it may feel paralysed by the intentions and ambitions of others. The Bikeshed Anti-Pattern is a good explanation of the problem.

When it's not a contentious issue, doing stuff counts far more than talking about stuff. If you're actually doing the thing, and it won't interfere with infrastructure or other hackers, then your opinion generally counts a lot more than the kind of idle speculation we're all prone to firing at ideas on the mailing list.

There are several ways to interpret Rule 3:

  • Don't mistake speculation for intention.
  • Just get on with it.
  • If you're doing something awesome, you probably don't need permission from anyone else.

Rule 3 is not carte blanche to do whatever you like; all members are expected to take other members into account. However, don't be put off doing something simple just because people have more ambitious ideas that they're unlikely to execute on.