Choosing Between Boring and Exciting Tech 🔥
Advice for dealing with technology risk, using something more than your gut.
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In 2011, when I was 22, I decided it was finally time for me to buy a smartphone.
I wrote down a long list of pros and cons for a few top tier models, including the iPhone 4 and a couple of Android phones.
In my head, however, I had already decided I wanted the iPhone. The real goal of the list was to justify this decision to myself and to my friends and family.
We make so many decisions this way, whether we realize it or not. We have a gut feeling for something, and then we work our way to rationalize it.
Choosing which technologies to use is one of those areas where "gut" often wins. This is because pros and cons are so hard to articulate—and so obscure to most decision makers—that over the years I have seen many such choices being backed by little more than personal taste.
Dan McKinley wrote a famous piece years ago about so-called Boring Technologies. Read it if you haven’t. My take is that, other things being equal(-ish), our gut naturally optimizes for Exciting Tech over Boring Tech.
The iPhone 4 felt exciting, while the other phones felt boring.
This instinct is neither a good nor a bad thing. We just need to be aware of it, and act accordingly. Let's talk about tech choices 👇