(First created: 05/10/2024 |Personal Opinion)

I’m always fascinated by how words come into being and amazed by how they convey the “divine reason implicit in the cosmos, order it and give it form and meaning”. Case in point, as I reflect on the guiding stars I follow at work that transcend the different industries I was in, the varieties of problems I solved, and the various roles I played, six words rise into salience. And, my God[1], they all start with the letter ‘E’!

The Experience-Efficiency spectrum

On the vertical axes is the juxtaposition of the first two ‘E’s:

  • E1: Experience. Paramount of all the ‘E’s. Applicable to all parties you interact with:
    • Customers. External and internal.
    • Stakeholders. Friends or foe.
    • Yourself. You must attend to your own experience before others.
  • E2: Efficiency.
    • Performance efficiency. Low latency, responsive…
    • Cognitive efficiency. Easy to understand, easy to use, highly productive…
    • Cost efficiency. Less compute, storage, humans…
    • Structural efficiency. Simple architecture, less complexity…
    • Operational efficiency. Obeservability, tracibility, auditability…

The Efficacy-Effectiveness spectrum

Horizontally are the two ‘E’s I keep in mind for every tactical decision I had to make for every feature, apps or initiative:

  • E3: Efficacy. At the onset of an initiative, I ask: will it work, under ideal situations?
  • E4: Effectiveness. Before greenlighting a feature into production, I ask: how it performs, under real world settings?

The Experimental core

Experiences, efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness, each of the first four ‘E’s has their own metrics that needed to be measured. When they’re conflicting with each other, as almost always the case, the equilibrium point which delivers the biggest impacts needs to be determined. All these concerns call for the design, conducting and analysis of experiments.

The Empathy foundation

The first five ‘E’s are color coded as blue, indicating the cold, objective and scientific side of the E6 Way. The last ‘E’ is coded as E0 and the color purple to emphasize the importance of the humane side of the E6 Way.

  • E0: Empathy. If you consider yourself a human, always have empathy in your psyche, at all times, for any other humans you come into contact. With empathy comes compassion. With compassion comes good will. With good will comes reciprocal good will. The virtuous circle ensues…

Getting personal

The E6 Way also helps in other settings. A personal example: I used to yell at my eleven year old son and managed to rid of the bad behavior, after the realization that:

  • Me yelling is certainly NOT a good experience for my son, evident from the tears in his eyes.
  • Yelling is not only ineffective at but detrimental to the parenting goal I want to achieve.
  • Root causes of my anger are almost always the lack of empathy for my son.
  • I experimented before finding the right way of coaching my son.

Getting crazy

Could the E6 Way be the underpinning of a philosophy? a movement? a religion? While I see no downside of more people following it, I don’t know if it’s too crazy an idea.

But let me tell you what’s crazy: to spawn a business out of a specific Cartesian coordinate system, a single Venn diagram, or a popular book. For this reason, any elaboration and commercialization of the E6 Way are forbidden. I can assure you that there won’t be E6 books, classes, workshops or coaches. The E6 Way is an empty container which you need to fill in. I want you to stare at the E6 diagram right here on this page, keep chanting the names of the six ‘E’s, loudly or silently, until you internalize and rebuild it in your heart and on your mind : )


[1] I say this as an atheist. Not believing in God doesn’t prevent me from being deeply religious. It’s just that my religion is Truth. If you press me on who is the God in my religion, I’d say probably the Great Unknown. Unknown knows everything, Unknown is all powerful, Unknown is all loving…

The E6 Way