Sridhar’s Law

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 by Marc Sachnoff

Recently, I was having some restoration work done on an antique Steinway player piano. I acquired the piano at an estate sale and had it shipped to one of the Seattle area’s top piano restorers to bring it back to “as new” condition. I dropped the piano off in 2012 and 18 months later it is still not done yet.

This reminded me of Sridhar’s Law. My friend Sridhar is an entrepreneur and technology maven who now runs a talent network for top engineers in the Bay Area. When working together on one of my unsuccessful start-ups back in 2006, Sridhar shared with me a useful way of dealing with the reality of complex planning. I started calling it Sridhar’s Law because unfortunately it is true pretty much all the time.

So what is Sridhar’s Law?

“Everything will take longer and cost more than you think it will.”

So simple, but so painfully accurate…

Originally, this bit of wisdom was aimed specifically at technology development projects. But I’ve now come to realize that it is just as valid in home improvement, auto repair, dental work, and yes, piano restoration.

Note to politicians, generals, and bureaucrats — Sridhar’s Law also seems to apply equally as well to political, economic, and military adventuring.

So I offer this little piece of advice to you. You might want to consider Sridhar’s Law before beginning any new project. At least then perhaps you won’t be surprised when costs pile up and delays stretch on and on.

You can always blame it on Sridhar.

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