David Heinemeier Hansson

September 14, 2022

I love being wrong

Being wrong means learning more about the world, and how it really works. It means correcting misconceptions you've held to be true. It means infusing your future judgements with an extra pinch of humility. It's a treat to be wrong.

When you've been wrong enough times in your life or career, it invites you to think in bets. If you hold a hundred opinions or make a hundred judgement calls, you're guaranteed that some percentage of those opinions will be misinformed and some of those calls will turn out poorly. That's just the math of being human.

So when weighing any individual opinion or judgement call, you need to know from the outset that there's a certain chance you'll just be wrong. Even when you think you're right. Especially when you're convinced you're right. 

Again, that's just the math of being human. Anyone with a perfect batting record has never swung at a fast ball. It's easy being right all the time if you stay out of the game.

That does not mean you should stop swinging! That does not mean you should stop making judgement calls. Or hold strong opinions. It means playing with the awareness that any one of them could turn sour, thus bless you with the opportunity to correct your understanding, and marginally improve your ability to hit it harder next time.

Always swing confidently to the best of your ability. Always embrace a bad hit with the humility of a learner. Loving the wrong makes the right.

About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.