Friday, January 27, 2006

What's an Edge Case?

I read Robert Scoble’s post yesterday called Scoble: I’‚m not an edge case that included audio from a heated discussion at Search Champs.

I wanted to do some research on the term Edge Case. Here is what I found:

I found a great article called In Praise of the Edge Case by B. Tommie Usdin of Mulberry Technologies, Inc..

Here is my favorite part:

"Anyway what’s this about too many edge cases? The edge is where we grow. The edge is where new ideas come from. The edge is the future!

Besides, today’s edge case is tomorrow’s mainstream application

The edge case is about things we can’t do, or can’t do as well as we want to. Edge case talks tend to be by people who are willing to live with failure -— sometimes for a long time - because they think they have an interesting or important problem to solve.

Then I found a post from Juice Analytics titled Learning from the edge cases (Part 2)

Here is my favorite part:
* They may offer new ways to think about the business or customers. As I said in my last post, edge cases help define the boundaries of reality.

* Collectively, outlier customers provide a service: they stress test the product and highlight unrealized strengths or weaknesses.

That article brought up the term outlier, an extreme deviation from the mean as, to explain the term Edge Case.

If the people were calling Robert an Edge Case to dismiss his opinions or ideas than I can understand his reaction to this. I wouldn't appreciate having my comments summarily dismissed like that.

Robert, you are not an Edge Case, so don’t let them get to you. But, I think the world would be a worse place if it wasn’t for people who are an Edge Case. It is not a bad thing to look at something in a different way than others.

Ironically, I played the sound byte from Robert Scoble in iTunes and I had shuffle on. The song that played after the sound byte was Breakdown by the Alan Parsons Project. Seemed fitting, if you look at the lyrics:

"I break down in the middle and lose my thread
No one can understand a word that I say
When I break down just a little and lose my head
Nothing I try to do can work the same way

Any time it happens, I get over it
With a little help from all my friends"

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