Build resilient systems at scale
May 27–29, 2015 • Santa Clara, CA

Why all the things must be code

Aneel Lakhani (SignalFx)
5:05pm–5:45pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Location: Mission City Ballroom B1
Average rating: ***..
(3.64, 14 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Prerequisite Knowledge

None, with intent.


Like most things that get pop-ified, the details are glossed over and essential elements of the original work are lost. Ideas are worthless without execution; relying on the pop version of an idea will handicap any attempt at its execution. The talk is partly an exposition, distillation, and application of Boyd’s original ideas (particularly as described in Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War) – and partly an exhortation to get as close as possible to original sources, because the lessons there are rich.

Key ideas:

  • OODA recasts the cognition<—>action cycle central to any organism’s effort to stay alive, in a particular context
  • Moving faster through the cycle is the shallowest reading of the idea
  • All parts of the loop are not made equal
  • OODA is tied to the risks and benefits of dealing with models
  • As are black swans
  • And antifragility
  • The best action is worth more than the first action
  • The optimal time is better than the fastest time
Photo of Aneel Lakhani

Aneel Lakhani


Aneel drinks a lot of coffee. He’s been doing technology full time since highschool—from startups, to consulting, to teaching, to big tech companies, to analyst-ing, and back to startups. He currently does marketing at newly launched startup SignalFx and was recently a Research Director at Gartner covering cloud operations.