Cover by Joel Spolsky

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thirty-threeBIG MACS VS. THE NAKED CHEF

THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2001

Mystery: Why is it that some of the biggest IT consulting companies in the world do the worst work?

Why is it that the cool upstart consulting companies start out with a string of spectacular successes, meteoric growth, and rapidly degenerate into mediocrity?

I've been thinking about this, and thinking about how my own company should grow. And the best lessons I can find come from McDonald's. Yes, I mean the awful hamburger chain.

The secret of Big Macs is that they're not very good, but every one is not very good in exactly the same way. If you're willing to live with not-very-goodness, you can have a Big Mac with absolutely no chance of being surprised in the slightest.

The ...

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