Geek Igor

Fire and Motion

Today I’ve rediscovered Fire and Motion blogpost by Joel Spolsky. I recommend you to read it.

It start with how you can get only a couple of productive hours per day. And this is OK. Joel mentions a colleague, who worked only from 12 to 5, and still had more done than the average other team member. These productive hours are called the flow.

One of the tricks to put yourself in the flow is to start. Starting is often the hardest thing. This is way better understood now, than in 2002. With a lot of articles and books on the importance of deep work, the cost of multi-tasking, etc.

And from there he segues into fire and motion. The basic principles of infantry battle. You shoot at the enemy, so they need to cover. And you move a little bit forward to gain some ground at the same time.

Fire and motion applies to many aspects of life, not only to warfare. A large company may develop newer and newer frameworks, to make sure all of the others need to constantly adapt, instead of attacking their core business. Salespeople may lead you to believe that you need all of the checkbox features, because then you’ll stay behind, etc.

What does it mean to me? On a personal level, you can use this principle to get into the zone — just fire your editor and move forward few small steps every day. My colleague from Franklin Templeton used to say that you have to work like a tank — not springing like crazy every now and then, but deliver consistent performance every day. If you’re a small team, then do not try to chase the latest fads, but rather focus on the core features of your product.