Allure of the free lunch

This is a common phrase told by #Juval Löwy. In other words: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”, or “You cannot add value without sweating” (J. Löwy, January 27, 2021).

“Nothing worse than responding ‘We will fix it. No sweat!’

First law of thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics is about the conservation of energy, meaning that no energy can be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transformed.

In simpler terms: Energy cannot be created out of thin air. To get some output, you must give it some input.

Or in other words: You cannot add value without sweating.


Alchemism is an old profession to turn dirt into gold. This has never been proven by anyone, and yet there was enourmous amount of resources put into the subject by any lord and country to hire alchemists to turn dirt into gold.

It can be suggested that it is in our nature to find the “silver bullet” that will make us rich without working.

Doing #Functional decomposition is equivalent to the olden alchemists, and is therefore why it will be increadibly difficult (if not impossible) to convince your teammates that functional decomposition is bad.

The most famous alchemist of them all

Isaac Newton spent years of his life searching for the philosophers stone, just because of the allure of the free lunch.


  • J. Löwy (January 27, 2021), “Righting Software - System Design” [Workshop], NDC London 2021.