Builder Brain

Feb 7, 2022 in Links

Great article by Charlie Warzel over at The Atlantic on builder vs maintainer mentality. Touches on Web3 and much of the tech bro mentality that makes me cringe.

I’m sympathetic to the notion that we need big thinkers and dreamers. I’m reminded of the classic Steve Jobs and Henry Ford quotes about innovation. Ford’s line was that if he’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told him, “A faster horse!” Jobs famously remarked that “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them … Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”

So I get it! It’s important to have smart people thinking outside the box and proposing wild, futuristic things that normies can’t wrap their head around. Sure.Where this idea runs into trouble, though, is when the Builders are so focused on building that they misunderstand the problem they’re trying to solve. They are so interested in pushing the boundaries of the possible that they make illogical leaps. The worst version of Builder mentality is that their dreams become reality, but instead of maintaining their creations, they simply move onto the next Big Thing, leaving others to deal with the mess they’ve made.

Thanks to the wonderful Sentiers newsletter by Patrick Tanguay for this link.