Moving Fast
Play • 6 min

In this episode of Beneficial Intelligence, I discuss moving fast. Mark Zuckerberg is famous for saying "Move fast and break things." That was his way of communicating a preference for high speed, accepting high risk. It has become an unofficial motto of Silicon Valley, but Facebook now has billions of users and today have a different risk profile.   

Elon Musk, on the other hand, moves fast and breaks things. He is launching SpaceX Starships as a furious pace, and the landings often end up in spectacular fireballs. He had one rocket blow up on landing in December, and another in February. This month, he managed to get one to land, only to blow up shortly after landing. But he is in a hurry, and he can afford to lose dozens of rockets.  

As CIO or CTO, you also need to move fast. Speed is what the business most wants from IT, and what we are least able to deliver. If we don't deliver speed, the business will run crucial business processes in faulty spreadsheets, or swipe a credit card in an impulsive purchase of some cloud service. You want to know what the worst thing that could happen is. If nobody will get hurt, and you can handle the financial and reputational effects of failure, that risk is below your speed limit. And you need to move as close to your speed limit as you can. 


Beneficial Intelligence is a weekly podcast with stories and pragmatic advice for CIOs, CTOs, and other IT leaders. To get in touch, please contact me at


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