an allegory on new technology and change in general

Andy walks into the kitchen and sees Dave at the counter, peeling potatoes. Dave is mumbling and everything about him shows that he’s not in a good mood. Andy walks over and asks Dave what’s up. “It’s taking ages to peel these potatoes, and I keep on peeling them to thick” says Dave.

“Well”, says Andy, “you’re using a very big knife, it’s unwieldy and not that suitable for peeling.” The look on Dave’s face is becoming more frustrated. “What might be a good idea”, says Andy, “is to use this smaller peeling knife with a curved blade”. “It’s sharp, easy to handle, and the curved blade makes it easier to follow the curves of the potato and peel it really thinly.”

Dave sighs. “Thanks Andy, that’s a great tip” he replies, “but at this time, I have lots and lots more potatoes to peel. I really don’t have the time to switch knives and learn how to handle this new knife. I’m used to this knife and know how to handle it.”

The last few months I’ve repeatedly been able to use this analogy to good effect. Usually in a stripped down version, without my buddies Andy and Dave. Though slightly off (new tech is usually complex and has more differences than two types of knife), it’s served me well. I’m a ‘stick to your guns’ kinda guy, but your guns do need to be working in an efficient manner. Switching to a better path usually pays out in the long run.