Morgan Housel at Collaborative Fund had a post this week called Why Things Break. Several layers of abstraction away from software engineering, nonetheless I think there’s a lot to learn in studying generalized fragility.
This post enumerates five ways success can lead to fragility:
- Success pushes you away from whatever made you successful to begin with
- Success increases size, size increases complexity, complexity plants landmines
- Success teaches you how to win the last war, which becomes the only war you know how to fight
- Success reduces the impression of needing room for error
- What looked like success was random, mismeasured, or a temporary trend