This week’s podcast is all about strategic thinking and design, and is inspired by the life, work, and thought of Col. John Boyd – “40-second Boyd”, the fighter pilot without a single kill to his name, who single-handedly revolutionised the art of war and changed the way that we think about warfighting. Col. Boyd used to have a standing bet with the other pilots around him – they could start on his tail in a perfect kill position, and if he did not have the tables turned on them in 40 seconds or less, he would pay them $40 on the spot.
Col. Boyd never, ever lost that bet – not once. The closest that ANYONE ever came to cashing in on that bet was a young Marine pilot, who taxed Boyd to the very edge of his immense talents. But Boyd ultimately won – and that Marine spread Boyd’s gospel throughout the Corps.
Today, Boyd’s work is largely forgotten, and his immense contributions to the field of warfare are dishonoured and disregarded. But the core lessons behind his work dictate everything that we see around us in both war and business – and the lessons apply in life far beyond these things as well.
This week’s podcast tries to tie all of that together, to help you understand how design and strategy are inseparable, and how to leverage this insight for your own benefit. I talk about why absurdly expensive and stupid weapons systems like the F-35 “Turducken Plane” are so utterly stupid and so badly designed, and why they consistently fail at their stated purposes. And I close by discussing how to apply this philosophy of design to your life as an individual.
- The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security by Grant T. Hammond – slightly more cerebral and academic, but a brilliant contribution to understanding Boyd’s way of thinking and impact upon strategy
- Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram – superb biography of John Boyd
- On War (Vom Kriege) by Karl von Clausewitz – probably the second most important text on military strategy ever written
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu – probably the most important text on military strategy ever written
Protect Yourself From Big Tech
As I keep telling everyone with sense enough to listen, you MUST take steps to protect yourself from the Big Tech companies. Start here with this post. Here are the specific steps that you can take:
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