Joy’s Law and Your Career

Realizing the benefits of collaboration and collective intelligence

David C. Wyld
Career Power
Published in
5 min readJun 24, 2024

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Overview

Joy’s Law is a management principle that states, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” The principle emphasizes the importance of collaboration, diversity, and the power of collective intelligence in achieving success. In this article, we will explore how Joy’s Law applies to individual careers, the benefits of collaboration and collective intelligence, and strategies for applying the principle to your own professional development.

Origins of Joy’s Law

Bill Joy first articulated Joy’s Law in the 1980s, during his time as a computer scientist at Sun Microsystems. Joy was known for his ability to assemble and lead teams of highly talented engineers and developers. He recognized that the success of these teams was not due solely to his own expertise but rather to the collective intelligence and skills of the group as a whole. Joy’s Law reflects this recognition, emphasizing the need for…

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David C. Wyld
Career Power

David C. Wyld is a Professor of Strategic Management & Consultant. Follow him here on Medium for his latest publications. He supports his fellow Medium writers.