Rough consensus and running code

Posted on April 7, 2009  /  0 Comments

One of the things LIRNEasia tries to do is to evolve low-transaction-costs of making participatory and high-quality decisions. The Internet’s Requests for Comments (RFCs) are gold standard. This is a fascinating account of how they came about.

The early R.F.C.’s ranged from grand visions to mundane details, although the latter quickly became the most common. Less important than the content of those first documents was that they were available free of charge and anyone could write one. Instead of authority-based decision-making, we relied on a process we called “rough consensus and running code.” Everyone was welcome to propose ideas, and if enough people liked it and used it, the design became a standard.

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