The Unavoidable Truth Of Moving Fast And Breaking Things


Editor’s note: Andrew McCollum is a co-founder of Facebook and investor in Opbeat, an ops platform for developers.

“Move fast and break things”: It’s one of the principles that has guided Facebook’s development process since its earliest days. These five words encapsulate a philosophy of rapid development, constant iteration and the courage to leave the past behind. Of course, some might wonder why you couldn’t just stop at the “move fast” part. The truth is that breaking things is unavoidable.

Even disregarding features that “work” but need to be broken in order to continue innovating (for example, how the profile has changed, often dramatically, over the years), Facebook is a social product connecting over a billion people across the globe. It simply isn’t possible to simulate the unique strains that this level of activity creates. More importantly, it’s generally impossible to understand how people will use a feature or react to a change…

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