Chapter 3. Pets and Cattle

This chapter is about improving our efficiency by minimizing variation. We mass-produce our work by unifying like things so that they can be treated the same. As a result we have fewer variations to test, easier customer support, and less infrastructure to maintain. We scale ourselves. We can’t eliminate all variation, but the more we can unify, the more efficient we can be. Managing the remaining variation is the topic of the next chapter. For now, let’s focus on unification itself.

We can’t spend hours custom-building every machine we install. Instead, we make our machines generic so that they can all be treated as similarly as possible. Likewise, we are more efficient when we treat related tasks the same way. For ...

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