Swatinem Blog Resume


— 2 min

In my opinion, one of the most important, but also very underappreciated skills is to think outside the box. Or put differently, to challenge the status quo and re-think some deeply rooted thought patterns.

We have always done things this way

… is the worst of arguments to do things a certain way.

I recently stumbled upon a quote thats being attributed to Elon Musk (who himself replied to the tweet so it might have been him):

Innovation comes from questioning the way things have been done before.

Another great inspiration comes from John Carmack:

Many times things are the way they are for important and valid historical reasons.

But sometimes things are the way they are because we just didn’t know any better.

Or, because we didn’t have time to actually make something good.


Many times things that might even have been optimal originally no longer are, and there are better ways to do things.

So in many areas it’s almost perceived wisdom that you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel.

But I would urge you to occasionally try anyways.

You will be better for the effort, and this is how eventually we get better wheels. People just going ahead and trying.

Change is hard. Overcoming the resistance to change might be the hardest thing.

So what are some of the things you would change, but which seem impossible to do so, just because it sounds like insanity to even think differently?

For me, one societal thing might be the classical view of weeks with weekends. I have been daydreaming about this before.

On the technical side, maybe the C compilation model and fundamentals of how programs work and interact. But I don’t have any better ideas either.

Not changing things for the sake of backwards compatibility has its value. But it also has a cost. Can we quantify that somehow?