Harkins’s Law of Enterprise Software «


Bram’s Law cleverly explains why a lot of common software sucks. I was just chatting in #startups and coined my own law to lay alongside it. I think I finally understand why all the gigantic content management systems and “Enterprise solutions” I’ve seen are so terribly bad.

We were having a conversation about designing a particular feature to scale up nicely…

<goldbond> if you are going to charge for your application, scaling really isn’t a problem right? because you can just throw a ton of hardware at it without eating up all of your revenue
<axod> goldbond: depends how badly you scale
<axod> as long as you charge more than it costs ;)
<Harkins> So clearly, the more you charge, the less competent you need to be.
<Harkins> I’d better go raise my prices.


  1. Nice. I have a similar law:

    Ogg’s Law
    The more expensive software is the harder it will be to use.

    Similar reasoning: you can afford to support paying customers.

  2. Mmm yes this reminds me of the time a friend called to tell me that Enterprise volume Management was the reason a server at work couldn’t decide if partitions were mounted or not.

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