The Technologist’s Dilemma

In 1997, Clay Christensen published the landmark book The Innovator’s Dilemma. In this book he went through a variety of industries (hard drives, backhoes, steel mills) and demonstrated the frustratingly similar pattern of how companies innovated, then stagnated – for entirely rational reasons. The key graph looks like this: The idea is that for any product, […]

Seven stages of learning

Stage 1: The opportunity At first, you’re excited. Something shiny and new! You’ve always wanted to learn this new thing, a language perhaps, and whether through planning or circumstance, you finally have your chance. Stage 2: Unwarranted optimism So you Google for tutorials, work your way through one or two, buy a book, start a MOOC. […]

Startup log: first impressions

As you may know, I recently left TripAdvisor to live the ups and downs of startup life. Now, one of the things that happens when you’re in a place for a long time is that you start to accrete responsibilities. You take ownership of cleaning up a particular error report. Or you set up automated jobs to monitor your […]

© 2011 Tim Daniels https://www.flickr.com/photos/lapseoftheshutter/6197695730. This image has been cropped to fit the space. It is licensed under a Creative Commons share-alike license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

To infinity, and beyond

It’s hard to believe it’s been six and a half years. In late 2008 my startup had just collapsed, my wife and I were expecting our first child, we’d just bought a house… Oh yeah, and the world economy was shattering into fist-sized pieces of molten pain. Good thing I’d already burned through my savings […]

The Swamp

The swamp is vast, dark, and deep, and passage will cost you dearly. Small bands of travelers with even the most rudimentary instincts for survival will do anything to avoid entry. They recognize it for what it is, redefine their destinations under the shadow of this impenetrable barrier, and either simplify their goals, or turn away toward other ends. Armies […]