2024: 10 Predictions

Normally I try to be very careful with predictions. As Yogi Berra so eloquently said, prediction is hard; especially about the future. When looking at the folks predicting the stock market, the data shows that their accuracy is about as good as random, or even worse. For example, at the end of 2022, many predicted … Read more

There’s no such thing as “the data”

One of the typical patterns I experience a lot when working with companies on digitalization is the claim that they have all the data in the world. They can just pick what they want from the candy store to get the data-driven insights they’re looking for. When inspecting the data in detail, it rapidly becomes … Read more

Protagonist rule #8: Use data

One story that keeps fascinating me when it comes to science is how people in the early 20th century insisted on the existence of aether for transferring light. The general belief was that similar to how sound was mediated by air, there was another medium that would allow light to flow. This was important to … Read more

Boost your digitalization: A/B testing

Although it is uncertain who said this, a famous quote is “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” This notion is at the heart of digitalization: much of what we think we know is no longer true when the industry goes … Read more

Boost your digitalization: data-driven ways of working

There’s more data in the world than ever before. According to some sources, the world stores over 50 zettabytes of data. A zettabyte is 2 to the power of 70, or one billion terabytes. So, one would assume that the entire world has moved to data-driven ways of working. As we all know, this is … Read more

Platform lesson #8: Instrument your platform for data-driven decisions

William Edwards Demming, the American who helped Japan rebuild itself after World War II, famously said: “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” This is still a lesson most companies haven’t fully incorporated. Once a platform gets a certain amount of traction, the opportunity to make data-driven decisions presents itself. This is incredibly … Read more

Platform lesson #6: Control platform variability

Software platforms by their very nature support multiple products. Typically, these products are used in different contexts and configurations. As a consequence, the platform has to offer variation points that allow each product and customer to use the platform in the way that best suits their purposes. Each variation point then has two or more … Read more

Outdated belief #8: A/B testing is only for online systems

In the online world of software as a service (SaaS), A/B testing in some form is used continuously for virtually any type of development. For an A/B test, two alternative realizations of a feature or some functionality are developed and presented to a test group (alternative B) and a control group (alternative A). Some outcome … Read more