why you should focus early: expense vs. optionality

Richard W. DeVaul
2 min readApr 7, 2021

Almost a decade ago, a mentor at Apple drew this chart on a whiteboard: A time axis at the bottom, and two crossing curves. The blue exponentially decaying curve is the influence of decisions in product development. The green exponentially rising curve is the cost of the project, and also the proportional cost of any intervention or fix.

a chart showing two crossing curves vs time: exponentially decaying influence over outcomes, exponentially rising costs
why you need to fix your sh*% now
Richard W. DeVaul

Founder, mad scientist, moonshot launcher. Writes on innovation, entrepreneurship, and social/queer issues. ex-CTO of Google X. @rdevaul on twitter