Why big companies slow down, and what to do about it

Every company optimizes for something. Sometimes this is an external measure – price, quality, security, customer service, etc. Sometimes it’s internal – hiring, project/risk/change management, and so on. Of course every company wants to do everything perfectly, but when you look at how they make decisions, there’s usually a central organizing theory. At TripAdvisor, the […]

Science, superstition, and open plan offices

If you’re anything like me, you probably have one or more anti-science, anti-rationalist bêtes noires. Maybe you like to rage against the creationists and what they’re doing to our schools. Or gripe about the global warming deniers and what they’re doing to our planet. Or fume about the crazy anti-vaccination nuts and what they’re doing to […]

Silver Bullets

Paradigms matter. The Pythagorans killed the discoverer of irrational numbers because they didn’t fit within their world view. The Romans had a numerical system that was actively antagonistic to arithmetic, and made no significant mathematical discoveries. The Arabs, on the other hand, had much the same numerical writing system as we use today, developed the […]