Simon Wardley Profile picture
I like ducks, they're fowl but not through choice. Thought Lord, Chaotic Evil. Destroyer of undeserved value. Born at 321 ppm CO₂ #WardleyMaps RT ≠ +1
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Oct 9, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
X : Can you make a map of my industry?
Me : Let me guess, mapping is hard and you need to apply strategy to it?
X : Yes.
Me : I can make the map.
X : Excellent.
Me : Alas, you can't apply strategy to it.
X : Why not?
Me : You can't map. You don't know what strategy is. ... to explain, it's a bit like someone who has been playing Snap for a decade wakes up to discover the world is playing Chess. It doesn't matter how much "Snap" strategy you've developed over the years - it's meaningless. Most corporate strategy is Snap i.e meme copying.
Oct 8, 2018 9 tweets 2 min read
X : Maps are not the territory!

Me : All maps are imperfect. This is a necessary requirement in order to be useful. A perfect map of France would be the size of France i.e. it would be France.

It would be useless ... as a map and a mechanism of communication. ... it is not perfection that makes maps useful. It is the ability for people to communicate, learn, navigate, challenge and explore that makes them useful.
Oct 5, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
X : Why are you going on about sustainability in tech -…
Me : Do you have $1bn in the bank?
X : No, and what has that got to do with anything?
Me: You're a muppet. Look, VC's might be dreaming of escaping on spaceships but you're not on those ships. ... less than a $1bn then you're an outsider, a nobody. You're not in the rich set. You might think you and your family are escaping the future damage we're causing to the planet but you're not. No escape for you. No Star Trek Federation. We either fix it or we wallow in it.
Oct 5, 2018 13 tweets 8 min read
I'm still processing what I heard and saw at #mapcamp #map18 ... everything was on a scale I hadn't expected. I mean when you're listening to people talk about mapping saving lives and the UN talk mapping, it's ... #mindblown - and on top of this you have mapping used in food safety (@JuliePierce77 presentation was glorious) - ... ok, saving lives, UN, Gov regulation and safety ...
Oct 5, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Listening to #bbcqt and how "big government is bad for the economy" ... hmmm, someone better explain that to China who is currently going around the globe knocking the stuffing out of these neoliberal fantasies. I must admit, I'm looking forward to the future neoliberal narrative that tries to explain how China is a neoliberal fantasy of small government ... I'm not sure how they're going to try and hoodwink that one, should be funny to listen to though.
Oct 4, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
Going for an early morning walk in London, passing an Estate agent. Oh lordy. £1.25m for a tiny one bed flat in Bloomsbury and it's not even freehold. That's 3x the price of my entire 4 bed detached freehold house. The rents in London are also eye watering. It must make living in London very hard and stressful. Having a smoke and chat with a lovely chap Jim. Poor fellow, living on the streets. Really? We're supposed to be a wealthy country but then GDP is distorted with rents, debt revenue etc rather than productive work.
Oct 2, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
X : Do you have case studies on Wardley maps?
Me : No.
X : Will you?
Me : No. Others can talk about their experiences.
X : It would help me to justify it to business.
Me : You need to justify to business why looking at the landscape might be good?
X : Yes
Me : Change business. X : That's not very helpful.
Me : I think it's excellent advice. Seriously, do you expect me to spend a nano-second on a business that doesn't understand why observing the competitive landscape it operates in might matter?
X : But they think they have maps.
Oct 2, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
No preference for EU-… - if we're going to have restrictions on immigration (hopefully, it will be a fairly liberal system) then I welcome a more universal and global approach. We should treat all citizens of the world equally. Well, I'm delighted the UK immigration system will be universal. I've always felt uncomfortable with this idea that citizens of one set of nations were more acceptable than citizens of another ... it always felt like a mix of protectionism / systematic racism ...
Sep 28, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Earlier this week it was Mercedes talking maps, now it is being applied to banking in the Russian Federation ... in between, I've heard about the UN, healthcare and ... oh, it's fascinating stuff -> ... next week, I've got 450 mappers turning up from all over the world for Map Camp -…
Sep 27, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
X : You seem to believe that brexit will benefit the economy.
Me : Not in the immediate term. I suspect there'll be some turmoil. In the longer term, there's a more positive potential if the focus is on being that global trading nation rather than insular. X : If you don't believe that Brexit will have an immediate positive impact then why vote for it?
Me : Because there are larger issues at stake than just the overall economic health measured by GDP.
Sep 26, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
X : Any views on @tom_watson statement about Russia -
Me : I would suspect the interference is still occurring. Russia won't care who is winning - they'll just care that people are arguing over it. Discord is powerful political tool. The single most important thing to do in such circumstances is to unite. Which is why I think that @jeremycorbyn speech appealing to Labour and the country to unite around “the new common sense” is timely.
Sep 26, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
X : What do you think about sustainable energy efficiency in IT?
Me : Not a lot. Efficiency is a short term win, however Jevons Paradox means we will just consume more. Energy consumption will go up and you really need to think about energy provision. X : So energy provision is the key?
Me : Depends upon who you talk to? I know some VCs who think the solution is spaceships.
X : Spaceships?
Me : Yes. Of course just not for you, for them. You're the underclass. No-one cares about you.
Sep 23, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
X : Do you play computer games?
Me : No ... well, not usually. I have taken an interesting in Skyrim and the modding scene. It's amazing.
X : Which bit? The dungeons? The landscape?
Me : No. It's amazing how crap code can be. The Skyrim modding community excels at this ... ... imagine a coding community with no standards, where people routinely write over stuff they don't understand and spend more time proving a point than fix a problem. The Skyrim modding community is amazingly fsck'd. There's a research project on messed up cultures right there.
Sep 22, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
X : Do you think Labour should support a Peoples vote?
Me : No. I want us to focus on winning a general election under Corbyn and not trying to find reasons to get rid of Corbyn. Many of the peoplesvote crowd that I know are opposed to Corbyn, all crocodile smiles and daggers behind the back. If Labour support it and win, they'll claim it was the peoplesvote & demand he goes for not supporting earlier. If we lose, they'll blame Corbyn not the peoplesvote.
Sep 20, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
X : Do you think we should hold a peoples vote?
Me : We had a peoples vote, you mean a 2nd vote. No, I don't. However, even if we did and please understand I'm not a fan of @theresa_may, given the treatment of our PM including the ridicule, I doubt remain would win. For all the faults, and I don't agree with @theresa_may on many issues, I don't believe the negotiations were conducted with anything other than goodwill. The contempt & ridicule shown by Tusk is not going to play out well. I suspect we will see a rapid hardening of views.
Sep 20, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Ah, @SonOfSunTzu. The evolution curve (an axis of the map) is based upon a concept of uncertainty (hence the term certainty). It's this that helps give meaning to the space in the map. The value chain side is weaker, it is a chain of needs with components becoming less visible. One of the critical steps in making a map was I had to abolish the concept of time from the map (i.e. there is no time in evolution) in order to see the change. Uncertainty is, was, and will forever be the key -…
Sep 20, 2018 11 tweets 2 min read
X : Where did your mapping come from?
Me : Long story. Mostly accident and serendipity. But there were two key influences ... Sun Tzu and Lao Tzu.
X : Lao Tzu?
Me : Yes, it's complicated ... ok ... ... I have a long interest (since a child) with Taoism. Particularly aspects of duality and how we interpret or understand things. Back in the late 80s / early 90s it drove a lot of my thinking in particularly areas of physics ...
Sep 13, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
X : You're wrong on serverless.
Me : Sorry, I don't understand.
X : It's niche. I don't believe it's a major change to IT.
Me : Nope, you lost me.
X : Which bit?
Me : All of it.
X : Serverless is not a paradigm shift like cloud.
Me : Try English. I'm not fluent in gormless. X : If you're not going to debate then what's the point?
Me : Ba da boom, ba da bing, ba da boing de bing.
X : What!?
Me : I'm not fluent. Seriously, though you said something about serverless. Have you used it extensively?
X : There are better ways ...
Me : Ah, ok. kthxbye.
Sep 13, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
X : You're quite defensive about mapping.
Me : Which way? I spend much of my time explaining maps are not a substitute for thought to those who get carried away and even more time explaining maps are useful for learning to those who believe stories are the answer ... ... I've had this battle for 13 years, no different with agile vs lean vs six sigma or insource vs outsource. People want simple magic answers. I'm afraid, you start by understanding the landscape and applying thought and patterns to it.
Sep 11, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
As a state school kid, who went to Cambridge, spent a decade as a consultant, sold a company and was a CEO then 13 years ago I thought I knew everything there was to know on strategy, culture & leadership. Today, I put that next to zero and I look at the Everest yet to learn. Most modern business strategy is akin to blind sheep with no memory running around looking for the magic unicorn of perpetual success with consultants shouting "Jumping higher on one leg is the key to finding it"
Sep 6, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read
X : Did you invent mapping?
Me : Err, no. That was thousands of years ago.
X : I mean business mapping?
Me : I created my form of mapping now known as Wardley Maps, 13 years ago. It's all creative commons.
X : But what is the first business map?
Me : I don't know of any others. X : But was it the first?
Me : I doubt it. Never forget Sivowitch's Law of Firsts - "Whenever you prove who was first, the harder you look you will find someone else who was more first"
X : So was it the first or wasn't it?
Me : Who cares? Do you find it useful? Live in today.