I recently read The Lean Startup and a corresponding interview by Chris Dixon (@cdixon) at CrunchBase with the author, Eric Ries (@ericries). Ries tells Dixon one of the phrases Toyota uses on the production line is “stop the line so that the line never stops.” It means “if you want to be able to sustainably have high productivity you have to stop as soon as you have a quality problem and remove it because quality problems pile up and compound… eventually you can grind your whole development organization to a halt.”

One of the more interesting concepts (to me anyway) is the notion of continuous deployment, which is a natural extension of Continuous Integration. Continuously integrate (commit early and often). On commit automatically run all tests. If the tests pass deploy to the cluster. If the deploy succeeds, repeat.

The book is really quite eye-opening and offers a different way of thinking about not only the process of software engineering (by noting a slightly modified version of the Agile development methodology) but the impact of a change to revenue by ignoring vanity metrics.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to create something new.