Could 1 be none?

There’s a mantra meant to remind one about being prepared: 2 is 1, 1 is none. If something is important, one should have a spare (the thinking goes.) Instead, I like to ask myself: Could 1 be none? So rather than doubling up the complexity by having 2 of something… And rather than just having one of something and hoping it doesn’t break (or even having a plan for when it breaks)… Could I just get rid of that one thing?

The larger the scale the more management becomes a stochastic job. It is impossible to know that everyone is doing the right thing all the time. We have to approximate it by randomly sampling the breadth of it. This is why dogfooding is so important. This is why skip-level 1:1s are so important.

~ Andrew Bosworth from,


I’m not a manager of people. But I am a manager of a lot of things, responsibilities, resources and goals. Your life may be similar. I’ve found that problems don’t fix themselves, and so I’ve a habit of immediately fixing problems. Or, at least adding it to the lists of things to get to. Quite often, when I start fixing (whatever that means in the situation) I realize the problem runs deeper. Quite often, when I find I’m ignoring, resisting, loathing, or outright complaining, about a problem… there’s something deeper going on. I start turning 2 into 1… And then could 1 be none?