“I didn't relish the carpal tunnel syndrome that would result from signing all these forms. We tried to 'sign' them by running the forms through the laser printer again to print the signature in the right place. But, as I learned, something traumatic happens to paper on its way through a printer. Once a sheet of paper has been through a laser printer, the next time you try to print on it, it's going to fight back, jamming the printer and resulting in the deaths of three other pages, and you're going to spend five minutes with a putty knife cleaning up the bloodshed.”
PS: This article will appear in the October issue of Inc. Magazine; it's the first installment of what will be a monthly column, mostly about business of software startups. The column is called "How Hard Could It Be?" As an entrepreneur I've really enjoyed this magazine over the years and I've learned a lot, so I'm honored to be a columnist. They will be publishing each column on their website, and I'll link to it as soon as they do so, but you may also want to subscribe to the print magazine; it's less than $10 a year and well worth it.
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.