Unknown Unknown problems

We don’t even know this problem exist. How do we know it is even needed? How do we get to a better state with these unknown unknown problems?

My co-worker Michael L. wrote an internal page about how he thrives on these type of Unknown Unknowns problems.

I’m reminded recently that I get a lot of my energy and fear from unknown unknowns, because they are the most interesting ones, but also very likely to fail.

This is quoted from his internal page

  1. Known Known — I know exactly how to do it.
  2. Known Unknown — I don’t know how to do it but I am sure it can be done in some way.
  3. Unknown Unknown — I don’t know how to do it and I have no idea if it can be done.

Published by Tony Tam

Senior Engineer Manager, Engineering Productivity @ Splunk, ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org