A List of Things I Was Wrong About

May 25, 2023

I’ve been writing this blog daily for almost two years. A look at how my ideas have changed and what I was completely wrong about (90% of everything is crap). I’m a person that needs to learn via first principles, so doing is the most effective way for me to improve.

  1. Remote Developer Environments never caught on.
  2. Microsoft and Google turn Notion and Airtable into Commodity SaaS. Didn’t happen. Tables (by Google) and Loops (by Microsoft) have effectively stalled.
  3. “How to Beat Google Search” — I had written about GPT-J two days before and didn’t make any connection between search and LLMs.
  4. An overarching thesis about the securitization of everything. I connected this to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century with my Ownership in the Twenty-First Century. It still might happen, but it’s not here today.
  5. VPN as a developer tool. The ecosystem of applications on top of WireGuard never caught on.
  6. Agent vs. Agentless architecture in distributed systems. Sidecar agents are still the easiest way to do things.
  7. Platform teams quickly disappearing. I didn’t explicitly say this anywhere, but I’ve incorporated it in many places. The gist: most internal platform abstractions are net negative productivity. The reality is: platform teams are probably more widespread than ever.
  8. SSH as less relevant in the cloud. In fact, new frameworks like mrsk by DHH use SSH as a central technology. So never bet against Lindy technology.
  9. Observability at the edge — Good idea, but hard to implement in practice.
  10. MicroSaaS —  Not completely wrong on this, but most of it was a Zero Interest Rate Policy phenomenon

…and many more.

Things I was right about but didn’t take advantage of (probably worse than being wrong!)

  1. Buying IPv4 Addresses. IPv4 prices have just about doubled since I wrote about it. Owning a small block would have been fun (and profitable)!
  2. ELO Rating. I forget why I wrote about this topic, but I never connected it to the idea of ranking models. Now it’s useful for model evaluation.

Things I was right about (but in the wrong way)

  1. Meta and Zuckerburg’s tenacity. I was never fully convinced by Meta’s metaverse strategy, but I thought it was refreshing to see a founder-led strategy that was bold and contrarian. Turns out that the metaverse was the wrong strategy at precisely the wrong time, but Zuckerberg was able to correct the course. As a result, they are doing some of the most important open work in AI.

The jury is still out on:

  1. Is AWS a Dumb Pipe? In the current AI revolution, I think we will get the answer.
  2. TypeScript for Infrastructure. It’s happening, but innovation is slowing.
  3. Apple’s Ads business creating competing incentives between its unique privacy position and a new business.
  4. MLOps and DevOps Convergence. I wrote this about my work on the last AI stack, but the jury is still out on whether this plays out for the LLMOps stack.