We Don’t Need No Stinking Docs!

There is nothing like having a successful company. Then you can go and publish a book on how you got to be that way. Tell everyone that you took the fast track to success. Because everything sounds good in print, people will take you at your word. After all it is hard to argue with success.

I spent nearly an hour trying to find who first said “it is hard to argue with success” but can only conclude that no one is attributed, other than some “old wise man”.

The point I was attempting to reach is we are all good at living life but poor in our choices of how to preserve it. We are perpetual optimist believing nothing bad will happen, but when it eventually does, we discover how ill prepared we actually are. Only a dire pessimist has any hope in preserving the important things.

Around my early twenties I decided to remove the objects enslaving me. I gave it all away. What I could not give away I burned. What I could not burn or give away I threw away. But I was then free! I now regret burning some of my history. I thought it would be good enough to keep in memory. I was wrong.

My memory is no longer what it once was. It is hard to understand that we can somehow measure this in our heads, a sense of how well we can think. It helps to have books, music and videos. They all allow us to live and relive certain moments.

Documents also help companies establish procedures and give some insurance that the company will survive a disaster. But disaster is infrequent and only directly involves a small percentage of the population. So we are lax in our preparations. Often we assume that because some backup and recovery system is in place it will work as advertised when needed. A simple test before the disaster could have told you for sure. We often forget to do testing. We go on blind faith that everything will be OK.

But you get what you pay for! So a company that solely relies on its founders and employees memories will eventually pay dearly when they lose one or more key members.