Kent Beck gave a presentation titled Be Valuable to the Computer Research Laboratory as he was leaving Tektronix for Apple Computer and a sweet raise.
Kent was annoyed with the company for being harsh with its own employees once its fortunes plateaued. Originally conceived of as a litany of complaints, including citing the unfairness of a recent salary freeze, the talk quickly morphed.
Ward And Kent were use to programming together and tried writing this talk the same way. It became a reflection on fifteen months working together exploring the limits of Smalltalk-80 (few) and the possibilities for methodological innovation (vast).
Preparation was a retrospective of sorts. Their surprise was that they had been valuable in every way that their management was attempting to manage value but that their success relied on moving quickly before management became involved.
The title, a late addition, became a commitment that guided both careers.
See original on c2.com