When White Star decided to change strategy from building fast ships to building large ships, it still needed to find a way to differentiate its ships. So, it decided that the Titanic would be both the largest and the “finest” ship in the world. Its innovations would rival even today’s massive cruise ships. To accomplish this goal, it had a number of engineering and design challenges to overcome –
The “Titanic” and “Titanic” Iceberg are central characters in our narrative on uncertainty and avoiding venture failure. But, how—or perhaps more importantly, why—did she really sink? We thought we’d share some of the alternative hypotheses and conspiracy theories through the years…
What Do Icebergs Have to Do with Startups?
Great question. Of course, an iceberg has to be included in any book about the “Titanic.” More importantly, we recognize that startups have to make decisions under uncertainty. Choosing one path can incur hidden debts because of the path not taken. We call those hidden debts icebergs. Well, we actually call them “debtbergs” in “The Titanic Effect.”
Once we landed on the concept of decisions having debtbergs attached to them, we then realized we needed to learn more about icebergs. What we discovered is that icebergs themselves are both interesting and diverse.
The Titanicwas a powerful and inspiring metaphor for us to draw on for our book, as an epic failure that resulted from many decisions over time. We thought it interesting and relevant to share some pieces of the story here in the blog. And here is a link to 25 popular myths about the sinking of the ship: https://www.thetravel.com/25-things-about-the-titanic-we-thought-were-true-but-are-actually-false/
The iceberg that is believed to have caused the sinking of the Titanicis actually the punctuation mark on a much broader array of choices and actions that resulted in the calamity—a perfect visual representation of the visible parts above the water versus the hidden aspects that lie underneath (our Hidden Debts). To understand the sinking of the Titanic, it is helpful to understand the history of the White Star Line, the organization that owned, designed, built, and operated the ship.