Environment for Accidental Opportunities

Coming across the diagram above, the first thing that made me take notice was the idea of trajectory of accident opportunity. I immediately read it as something positive. Basically I thought it was a way to discover unknown opportunities. Then I did a search on what Latent errors and systems disasters meant. Apparently I read the diagram pretty incorrectly. Words like Chernobyl and Titanic were inferred. So I thought why not change the diagram to what I initially thought it was. Below I flipped the diagram vertically to what I think the environment for accidental opportunities could be. Keep in mind that I spent about five minutes on it so things still need to be fleshed out. The basic takeaway is that to get a new idea off the ground, observation and instinct need to power through challenges based on popular assumption.

I rarely end up where I was intended to go, but often I end up somewhere that I need to be.

—Douglas Adams

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  • http://twitter.com/glenisip Glen Isip

    I’ve been following this blog for a little while now, and I’ve been enjoying it.

    Seeing this diagram kind of twisted my brain; mapping out how an accidental success might intentionally be created (but doesn’t that make it “not an accident”?)

    It’d be interesting to see how many internet memes came out of environments like these.

  • http://designnotes.info/ Michael Surtees

    Good question, I just added the quote from Douglas Adams to the post after discovering it in the preface of the book Six Degrees, the Science of a Connected Age by Watts. The quote “I rarely end up where I was intended to go, but often I end up somewhere that I need to be.” feels like a good addition to the diagram.