Ask for Forgiveness, Not for Permission


Of all the postulates of the Zemanta doctrine the most powerful, but also the most controversial is to ask for forgiveness, not for permission. It's powerful because it gives decision power to more people, but it also requires from management to trust people more. Especially in start-ups there's no playing it safe and usually the only way to move quickly enough is to just do things with clear realization that there will be lots of failures. The motto of asking for forgiveness and not for permission does not apply only internally but also externally, towards your customers, users, and business partners. All these constituencies have their own goals and problems. If you'll always wait for them to come to terms you'll end up being to slow and ultimately a failure. It's not easy to reconcile the focus on user with the fact that you do what you do primarily for yourself.