The Situated-is-Incremental Fallacy

Silicon Valley style technology innovation is a brutal game, and certain strategic errors can get you kicked out of the game before you even start. One of the big errors which I often see talented young people without work experience commit, and which I've never personally seen experienced people commit, is what I call the situated-is-incremental fallacy. This suggests that this is a fatal, career-killing error. The fallacy is this: concluding that just because something is grounded in, and informed by, practical environmental realities and context, it cannot be technologically radical. Where experienced people separate the incremental/radical axis from the detached/situated axis, inexperienced people often conflate them. Getting past this fallacy is not even a strategic thinking skill. It is basic strategic literacy. Here's how to get literate and internalize the truth that just because something is practical, it does not mean it is not radical.

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