Murphy’s law has been said in various ways, but essential boils down to “If something can go wrong, it will.” There are many addendums to the law, such as ‘in the worst possible way’ or ‘at the worst possible time.’ The origin of Murphy’s law is somewhat murky, but seems to involve an engineer named Edward Murphy and a failed test on g-forces. There are earlier references to a similar law dating back to 1928.
Murphy’s Law is rooted in the fact that we tend to take notice of the things going wrong more often than the things going right. People are far more likely to comment about bad traffic than about times traffic was flowing well. We seldom come home and say, I didn’t have an accident today, but you can bet you’d talk about it if you did. Murphy’s law sticks around because of this focus on the negative.
The law, though, does highlight an important point. You should be taking a look at the risks involved in whatever project you are doing. Thorough risk management works wonders at keeping Mr. Murphy at bay.