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The Tao Te Chimp: A Principle Driven Approach

Joe Kelly explains the Manifesto of Infochimps, known internally as the Tao de Chimp. The Infochimps team created crisp decision criteria like:

- Don't solve a problem you'd like to have.
- Engineering's job is to say "YES," product's job is to say "NO."
- Support staff drinks for free.
- Beautiful code is code that's shipped.
- Pooflinger rule: When a problem happens, look at process, team, and people in that order of importance.
- Mistakes born of bold initiative in service of the plan are always forgivable; mistakes born of timidity or indecision are never acceptable.
- Life, sometimes, is Russian novel - but novel, is not by Dostoyevsky.

He'll describe critical moments in the company large and small, and how these tenets showed the path to a clear decision. Joe Kelly guided the startup company from three guys in a bar to the leading Big Data Platform-as-a-Service company.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How can a Manifesto create and foster a strong culture?
  2. How does the company incorporate the Manifesto in daily activities?
  3. How the Tao De Chimp was created?
  4. How has the Manifesto failed?
  5. Who is Dostoyevsky?



Amanda McGuckin Hager, Director of Marketing, Infochimps

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