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Skunk Works

21 September 2010

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I’ve heard this expression in reference to software development a few times and never really knew what it meant. It comes from an approach developed by Lockheed (and particularly one of it’s engineers – Clarence ‘Kelly’ Johnson) used to build it’s first jet fighter ahead of schedule and on budget. Johnson pulled together a small, specialist team within the larger organisation and ‘flew under the radar’ cutting red tape and just getting things done.

37Signals.com have written about it with respect to a philosophy of design.

‘Quick prototypes. Small teams. No bureaucracy. No lengthy documentation. Limited meetings’.

It fits in with the key themes of their two books – Getting Real and Rework.

So now I know, and can aspire.

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From → Business, Technology

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