Software is hard -

[Q:] You always hear, with regard to software, that managing developers is like herding cats, and what you just said kind of alludes to that. Does that mean one of the problems with getting software projects done on time is the psychology of the people who are actually doing it?

[A:] That’s a huge and fascinating subject. There is this raw fact in the field that the best way to create software would always be to have just one person write it. At Salon, our original content management system, the predecessor to the big one that was a disaster, was a much smaller system that one developer wrote. It was limited, but the process of creating it was much less painful.

That's just simply not true.  Your best move is to encapsulate and have each programmer work on their own tasks that don't have deep dependencies on any other building block, sure, but code doesn't really get solid without having a few folks look through it, finding those bugs and oversights that the original coder can't see for the trees.  It's great to have guys who code with similar logic that can understand what the other's saying, but you still have to trade and review.

I'm looking forward to reading the book, but this really does sound like bad management and scoping.