StackOverflow: why it succeed?

You succeed when you reach your goal. Simple at that.

Why StackOverflow is a success? It’s not because that the website has reach 560M page view/ month. It’s because it makes software developer’s life easier.

My criterion for whether Stack Overflow works: when you type your question into Google, and you’re happy to see a Stack Overflow result rather than a result at another one of those Q&A sites where you have to sign up and pay a monthly fee to see the answer. - Joel Spolsky

Once you understand the site’s goal, you would understand the hard choice that its creators have made. Many people complain how the site has been so strict in its “standard” for question and answer. When they come to the site asking for help, but leaving unsatisfied. Or worse, their question would be closed in few seconds because it’s “too broad”.

It’s because that SO “true” customer are the indirect users, those who come searching for an answer. The answer gets written only once, but it gets read millions of times years later.

The more time you spend on writing a short, clear and coherent question, the more time would be saved from your reader.