Disambiguation: Embrace Wrong Answers & Find Truth
Where are all the coffee shops in my neighborhood?
Seemingly easy questions can become complex when you consider ambiguity. This one sounds simple until you consider that folks may define “coffee shop” differently and the boundaries of your “neighborhood” differently. One person’s Central Austin, may be someone else’s South Dallas.
How about instead of working too hard to define the parameters in an attempt to completely remove the ambiguity, we instead look at what people do, interact with and talk about. We can watch what people do and decide from there what a coffee shop is and where the boundaries of your neighborhood are. It might not be the “truth”, but it can be darn close.
When we learn to embrace ambiguity, not only can we still find the answers to our questions, but we can also find answers to questions we hadn’t even thought to ask.
I'm a co-founder of Infochimps, an Austin-based startup that's leveraging cutting edge big data technologies to help clients and developers perform big data magic cheaply and efficiently.
Flip is the Founder and CTO of Infochimps, a data marketplace to find any data-set in the world. He holds a B.S. in Physics and Computer Science from Cornell University and attended graduate school in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin. Flip enjoys riding his bicycle around Austin, eating homemade soup, and playing extreme Scrabble. The idea for Infochimps was inspired by Flip’s abhorrence of redundancy and desire to make the world a happier place for data lovers of all kinds.