Don't Jump the Gun on Criticism

 Dec 9, 2013  |   Filed under: business, personal, software development  |   Tags: Body & Mind, Challenge, Change, Consulting, Learning, Opinion, Philosophy

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post on our company blog about one of our core values "Challenge the World". This is not only one of our company values but something I have been subscribing to myself for quite a while. This has often been a successful way of approaching things for me. However in certain instances my questioning didn't lead anywhere and I've come to reflect over why this might be.

I think that in many of the situations the people I questioned saw what I see now. They saw that at that point in time I didn't have sufficient knowledge to be questioning the ideas I was questioning. Bjarte Bogsnes hits the nail on the head when he starts one of his presentations by saying:

"[Looking back] I've done a lot of stupid things [...]. But it [...] gives me a platform to be quite critical because I've done it. I've been on the inside."

--Bjarte Bogsnes, Lancaster University, 15 March 2012

Bjarte is referring to all the years he spent doing classical management and budgeting and asserts his position as a critic of these things since he has "[...] been on the inside".

In my opinion it's important that we aim to understand things first before we jump in and start questioning them. I think that premature questioning often arises when we are second order ignorant, that is when we don't know what we don't know. When second order ignorant we are usually driven to question things purely because we don't understand them but we think we have the full picture. It also makes the work of our counterpart very hard and we can often get comments such as "You just don't understand" or "It's more complicated than that". For me it has been useful to go through the moves of something new before I suggest improvements or alternatives at least this gives me the security of knowing I have a somewhat complete picture.

It is also useful to try suggesting alternative ways or ideas when questioning things. If you can't and the only comments you have are "this is wrong" or "this feels off" you may also be second order ignorant.

I think challenging is a good thing but it might be a wasted effort if done on the wrong basis.

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Kill the Goat

 Nov 21, 2013  |   Filed under: business  |   Tags: Challenge, Change, Entrepreneurship, Learning, Philosophy

Yesterday I was at the regional finals of EY Entrepreneur of the Year to support my long time friend and partner in business Deniz Yildirim. Deniz managed to snag the “Male Rising Star of the Year” award and moved on to the national finals in Stockholm. Someone else who moved on to the finals was Hossein Sadr of Carpetvista. Hossein, who won the “International Growth of the Year” award, told an interesting story which has...

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Third Time's the Charm

 Jun 26, 2012  |   Filed under: business, offtopic  |   Tags: Business, Change, Learning, Opinion, Philosophy, Theory

"Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not." --Virgil Thomson I saw this quote, or some form of it, on twitter today. It struck a chord with me because it resonates well with a thought I've been carrying around for a couple of years now. What...

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 Jun 6, 2011  |   Filed under: software development  |   Tags: .NET, IronRuby, mono, Programming, Ruby

This whole thing started as an effort to get IronRuby on board the rvm train. I started looking around for documentation on how to build/install IronRuby from source with Mono but the blogs and documentation I found where mostly outdated and full of broken links. I guess this is due to the bumpy ride IronRuby has had with owners, repositories and build processes changing several times in a short period of time. In order to...

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Hello World in IronRuby - The Macho Way

 May 22, 2011  |   Filed under: software development  |   Tags: .NET, MSIL, Programming, Ruby

Those of you who know me know that I'm a big Ruby fan. I've been doing as much Ruby as I can squeeze in for the past 6 years, which hasn't been that much since I usually get paid for doing .NET (C# / VB.NET). Given this you might think I would jump on IronRuby since it mixes my passion for Ruby with my day-to-day work of developing on the .NET platform. However I haven't...

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