Video: 3x Explore, Expand, Extract - Kent Beck

November 15th, 2020

3x Explore, Expand, Extract - Kent Beck

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Question, to be asked early on.



small investment - big investment (---)

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return on investment (red line)


waterfall resurgence

1) let's first do a market survey

2) let's do a business model refinement

3) let's then develop

4) QA



new product development with waterfall

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large investment, small chance of payout



Question: what do you have to lose?

first question I need to ask, to decide how to operate




until you find a growth loop

scratch the right spot

same thing as before, extreme result

not a rational process, or someone else would have done it already

absurd ideas, crazy idea

nobody else is stupid enough to try a bad idea

"how hard would it be to try it"

laughter is a good sign

trade-off: short term, throw away, hack

opposition: indifference

economy of scope: "how little work can I do in order to validate some question"

all about learning, creativity, coverage of the space



EXPAND scale

people care about the idea

barriers to growth: money, floor space, network bandwith, ...

each obstacle is existential: fail one, no princess

economy of risk: "capital is cheap, risk is really expensive"

throwing money at problems

different discipline: engineering, management, ...

all about finding the next thing that's going to kill you

barriers to growth

focused, short period of time

extra hours makes a difference

sitting in the same room makes a difference



long term kicks in

automated testing




exploration is binary (either 0 or massive)

expansion is one number that's gonna kill us

extraction has balanced scorecard


Can you run Exploration and Extract projects at the same time?

-> Facebook

more complicated as a manager



expanders floating around



expand projects trump everything:

explore: small change of high payoff

expand: high change of high payoff

extract: high change of  small payoff

-> missing expand = missing the most valuable thing



Facebook everyone is measured on impact

specific numeric goals

works well in explore/expand

extract: smaller improvements, longer projects -> game the system

incentives are all about looking at the upsides, but nothing for looking at the potential downsides


extract: move from impact/outcome -> good decision making

"I'm not gonna add my feature, it's just gonna be too much"




question: What do I have to lose?


twitter is my platform to explore

"what do people want me to talk about?"

twitter -> engagement



soundcloud to explore

record one after another

see what get's engagement




Explore mode:

don't analyse

figure out how to experiment


Expand mode:

figure out what the next barrier to growth is

address it

get ready for the next one


Extract mode:

how can I make a little improvement





Should you write tests?

That depends: do you have anything to lose?


Well, only write the tests that help you experiment quicker


Model: 3x for estimates

Model: 3x for estimates

No estimates

explore: estimates are waste

-> great idea in exploration, because you've never done it before

-> estimate is just a guess, no value, wasted effor


-> estimates are important data for making decisions

-> do I do project A or project B