Our Ethics


  • If I give money, time, cookies, or supplies to WIKISPEED and WIKISPEED is profitable, WIKISPEED will pay me back the value of what I put in plus interest commensurate with their level of success.  I can choose not to accept repayment, but WIKISPEED will make reasonable attempts.  This is based on value, not quantity (in hours, pounds, dollars, or word count).
  • If I give money, time, cookies, or supplies to WIKISPEED, I have no claim on WIKISPEED or its decisions or what it does with my resources after I give them.  Other than tenant 1 above.
  • If I share my best thoughts and work with WIKISPEED, WIKISPEED can use them at no cost, and I retain rights to reuse or protect my ideas unless I opt to bequeath them to WIKISPEED or the Public Domain.


  • Equitable distribution of wealth.
  • Avoid profit from waste (e.g., buying a competitor to shut them down).  Grow profit based on visible value.
  • If we focus on profit over value to customers, we will obtain neither.  If we focus on visible customer value over profit, we will profit.
  • Use less stuff (Lean) wherever responsible.
  • Make decisions at the last responsible moment; this is when we know the most.  But be careful not to wait until it is no longer responsible.  We never make a decision before we have to just to “get it out of the way.”
  • Start with the minimum useful solution (porters on roller-skates over a mail chute), then iterate aggressively to improve visible value and efficient sustainability of the solution.
  • Morale is a multiplier for velocity.
  • We trade estimated future states for knowing the most about our current situation and make changes quickly (Agility).
  • Trust our team.  This avoids a culture of CYA, which slows down innovation and kills morale.  For example, a company that spends $6 million on intranet security preventing employees from seeing documents above their salary level so as to avoid leaking potentially libelous documents, could instead spend that same $6 million having interns and attorneys aggressively helping all levels of the organization identify documents that are potentially libelous, which are usually a sign of unethical action, coaching them on how to rectify those situations ASAP as a company with help from all levels of the company.
  • Replace a document with a conversation.  Instead of writing a specification document, have a white-boarding conversation in a room where as many other team members as possible can overhear.  Take pictures of the white board when you are done, and email the team.  Documents have a maintenance cost.  Produce self-documenting work—a car with a navigation that teaches you how to use it instead of a manual.  Can you imagine if Internet Explorer still shipped with a manual?  We expect it to be self-explanatory.  Documents are a hidden expense, requiring editing and rewrite to match the current version.
  • Try not to do something alone; pair with another team member whenever responsible.  This aids in knowledge transfer and avoids requirements for documentation.

WAY more information on us, if you are really passionate about our background, ethics, goals, or methods:

http://www.youtube.com/user/WIKISPEED#p/a/u/0/V5quKKAGlck intro: 2min 44sec:

http://www.youtube.com/user/WIKISPEED#p/a/u/2/CNhdfAxa648 part 1: 1hour 03min:

http://www.youtube.com/user/WIKISPEED#p/a/u/1/M7Uv33fOLXA part 2: 53min 30sec: