In today’s business world, most communication is done through writing, whether it’s via email or via instant messenger, or if you use Basecamp or Backpack or whatever. You have to write things down, because instant messaging and email are so easy and fast. I think it’s really important—especially these days—that people should be able to express themselves through writing.
If they can’t quite formulate sentences or explain things clearly in writing, it’s going to be a problem. Because communication is really the key to everything here. You need to be able to be clear about what you mean and what your intentions are. If someone can’t write, that’s going to be a problem down the road, especially for teams that are geographically spread out. [...] So writing is very important; that’s how we communicate almost 90 percent of the time.
I should add that reading is the complementary, equally important skill.
The first 90% of the work is done: Dave Winer has released his OPML Editor this morning.
I sure hope he’ll come around to working on the last 90% of the product. The OPML Editor deserves it. Great potential. Excellent.
For anybody unfamiliar with the 90% rule:
It takes 100% of work to create a software product. Within the first 90% you’ll come up with something a decent product. The next 90% are needed to add polish & refinements to the product. The last 90% of the work are spent making the software a first-class citizen on all supported platforms.
Then you’ll have a software product.
The actor, whose Star Trek character “Scotty” was a role model for any software engineer (How long will this take, Scotty? 3 hours! You have 10 minutes, Scotty! OK, captain.) passed away.
Here’s a great list of online collaboration tools compiled by Jonathan Boutelle.