Mapping as a tool for thought


  • Ruben Berenguel (@berenguel)
  • PhD in Mathematics
  • (big) data consultant
  • Lead data engineer using Scala, Python and Go
  • Right now at Affectv

Tools for thinking

But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know. – Donald Rumsfeld

Wardley mapping

What happened between…

and this


It’s actually this

Having a map


Having a plan

But what would have happened if the Rebel Alliance was…

a business ?

As a business we can do better

There’s more

Climatic patterns

Or, how’s the weather in your business landscape?

  • Everything evolves through supply and demand competition
  • Evolution consists of multiple waves of diffusion with many chasms
  • You cannot measure evolution over time or adoption
  • The less evolved something is then the more uncertain it is
  • No choice over evolution
  • Commoditisation does not equal Centralisation
  • Characteristics change as components evolve
  • No single method fits all
  • Components can co-evolve
  • Efficiency enables innovation
  • Higher order systems create new sources of value
  • Future value is inversely proportional to the certainty we have over it
  • Efficiency does not mean a reduced spend
  • Evolution to higher order systems results in increasing energy consumption
  • Capital flows to new areas of value
  • Evolution of communication can increase the speed of evolution overall
  • Change is not always linear
  • Shifts from product to utility tend to demonstrate a punctuated equilibrium
  • Success breeds inertia
  • Inertia increases the more successful the past model is
  • Inertia can kill an organisation
  • Creative (fast) Destruction
  • Competitors actions will change the game
  • Most competitors have poor situational awareness
  • Economy has cycles


  • Be transparent
  • Focus on high situational awareness
  • Use a common language
  • Challenge assumptions
  • Know your users
  • Focus on user needs
  • Think fast, inexpensive, elegant and restrained (FIRE)
  • Be pragmatic
  • Remove bias and duplication
  • Use appropriate methods and tools
  • Focus on the outcome not a contract
  • Use standards where appropriate
  • Optimise flow
  • Effectiveness over efficiency
  • Manage inertia
  • Manage failure
  • Think small
  • Distribute power and decision making
  • Provide purpose, mastery & autonomy
  • Think aptitude and attitude
  • There is no one culture
  • Seek the best
  • Design for constant evolution
  • Use a systematic mechanism of learning
  • A bias towards action (do not attempt to create the perfect map)
  • Listen to your ecosystems
  • A bias towards the new
  • Be the owner
  • Strategy is iterative not linear
  • Do better with less
  • Set exceptional standards
  • Strategy is complex
  • Commit to the direction, be adaptive along the path
  • Move fast
  • There is no core
  • Exploit the landscape
  • Think big
  • Be humble

Pick your own axes

This is packed


  • There is more to planning than Gantt charts
  • You don’t need to be a business to plan like one
  • You just need to have a problem, a piece of paper and something to write with



Get the slides from my github:

The repository is


Further references

  1. And it’s not the force