Navigating the Tech World with the ‘7 Why’s’: Insights from Outliers and the Power of Intention


In the tech industry, where innovation and complexity meet, finding your ‘why’ is not just insightful, it’s crucial for success. This concept becomes even more powerful when intertwined with Malcolm Gladwell’s insights from “Outliers,” particularly his observation about plane crashes resulting from seven consecutive human errors. In this article, we delve into how the ‘7 Whys’ technique, combined with a deliberate and intentional approach, can be transformative for tech professionals.

The Importance of “Why” in Tech:

The relentless pace of the tech world demands more than just technical skills; it requires clarity of purpose and direction. Gladwell’s analysis of errors leading to aviation disasters is a poignant reminder of how a lack of clarity can lead to cumulative missteps in technology projects and careers.

The 7 Why’s Technique

Originally used in manufacturing to identify root causes, the ‘7 Whys’ is a method of iterative questioning that helps uncover deeper motivations. It aligns perfectly with Gladwell’s concept of compounded errors, highlighting the need to understand the underlying reasons behind our professional actions to avoid potential pitfalls.

Finding your Why

Being Deliberate and Intentional

In tech, every decision and action should be deliberate and intentional. This approach is not just about making choices; it’s about understanding the reasons behind these choices.

Being deliberate means being aware of the implications of your actions, just as understanding the consecutive errors in a plane crash helps in preventing them. Being intentional is about aligning your actions with your deeper purpose – your ‘why’. This section can explore how a deliberate and intentional approach, combined with the ‘7 Whys’, can lead to more meaningful and impactful work in tech.

Applying the 7 Whys in Tech

Consider your engagement in a tech project. Asking ‘Why am I working on this?’ might initially yield a surface-level answer. But as you continue to question, seeking deeper understanding, you might uncover motivations like a desire to innovate for social good or bridge digital divides, leading to more focused and intentional work.


In the dynamic world of technology, understanding your ‘why’ and acting deliberately and intentionally can be your guiding stars. The ‘7 Whys’, especially when considered alongside the insights from “Outliers”, offers a path to self-discovery and purpose-driven work.

As you evolve in your tech career, continually revisiting your ‘why’ and the intent behind your actions will keep you aligned and prevent the ‘crashes’ of professional misdirection.