What’s your favourite saying that you invented?*

What Law would bear your name?

(* it might be that, like mine, yours are not *really* unique – but don’t worry about that for today 🙂 )

See others’ contributions at:


Feel free to share Laws in other people’s names that you regularly call upon.

Here are mine:

Taylor’s Corollary to Pareto’s Law for projects

the first 20% of value takes 80% of budget/time. The other 80% of value takes the other 80% of the budget/time.

Taylor’s rule of proposal recursion

if a proposal requires you to stay up until 3am to get it done then, somehow, so will every major deliverable on that project.

Taylor’s law of bidding

the more you really really care about the proposal and the work, the less likely you are to win.

Taylor’s first rule of Workshop Time

you will think there is not enough content for the time. In fact, there is not enough time for the content

Taylor’s second rule of Workshop Time

if at point x you’re twenty minutes ahead of agenda, in thirty minutes, you will be thirty minutes behind.

(To which I received:

Pickering’s first rule of workshops: the sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up.)

Taylor’s Law of Tables Where One Side Of The Table Shows The Bad Old Stuff And The Other Side Shows The Good New Stuff

this means that someone is using propaganda to sell you something – either a product or a worldview

Taylor’s Law of Cognitive Hierarchies

Any time someone presents you with a hierarchy of adult development or cognitive capability levels, they believe they are at a higher level than you.

What would you put in your name?

Shout-out to Mel Conway who has a seriously good law named after him! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_law

(I find it amusing that he is called @Conways_Law on Twitter, since @ConwaysLaw was already taken – by an Irish law firm 🙂 )

And let’s also acknowledge Stigler’s Law of Eponymy; no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer


“Examples include Hubble’s law, which was derived by Georges Lemaître two years before Edwin Hubble, the Pythagorean theorem, which was known to Babylonian mathematicians before Pythagoras, and Halley’s Comet, which was observed by astronomers since at least 240 BC (although its official designation is due to the first ever mathematical prediction of such astronomical phenomenon in the sky, not to its discovery). Stigler himself named the sociologist Robert K. Merton as the discoverer of “Stigler’s law” to show that it follows its own decree, though the phenomenon had previously been noted by others.”

Quotes about Say my name (84 quotes)

5 thoughts on “What’s your favourite saying that you invented?*

  1. This only applies with static waterfall thinking, not with my methods.

    In my methods the values/costs are evaluated at every small step, and the best efficiency step is chosen. When the row or v/$ ratio falls below a minimum level (example 5% ROI) you stop the project, until you can find better options. The detail of this is in the SEA book for example.



  2. Whoops – I missed a big one:

    Taylor’s maxim of groups
    Deny power or hierarchy and you will face them in their most toxic forms


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