A Programmer's Dream
Hero Image

IT Strategy and the Art of Bourbon Tasting: How subtlety, nuance, and a long-term view are key to both

Posted by Stephen Wrighton on 05 Jul 2023

Gain a fresh perspective on IT strategy through the lens of bourbon tasting. Explore how patience, subtlety, and long-term planning can lead to robust IT frameworks, just as they contribute to the rich flavours of bourbon.

The Intersection of IT Strategy and Bourbon Tasting

Much like the art of bourbon tasting, IT strategy requires a keen sense of observation, a careful assessment of various components, and a thoughtful blending of different elements. These similarities provide us with a unique lens to view and understand IT strategy better, making it more relatable and easier to grasp.

Understanding the Basics: IT Strategy and Bourbon

Understanding the basics is crucial, whether you’re formulating an IT strategy or getting started with bourbon tasting. Without a firm grasp of the fundamentals, it’s impossible to appreciate the subtleties and intricacies involved in both fields.

Embracing Complexity and Nuance

Just as a good bourbon reveals its complexity over time, so does a well-crafted IT strategy. It’s in the nuances where the real magic happens, whether it’s the slight hint of vanilla in your bourbon or the data-driven insights your IT strategy can provide.

The Role of Patience in IT Strategy and Bourbon Aging

Patience plays an integral role in both IT strategy and bourbon aging. An IT strategy requires time to develop and implement, and its full potential can only be realized over time. Similarly, bourbon requires aging to develop its full range of flavors.

Long-term Planning: Key in both IT and Bourbon Making

Long-term planning is essential in both IT and bourbon making. An effective IT strategy considers future trends and anticipates potential challenges. Similarly, bourbon makers plan for years in advance, considering factors like barrel selection and aging processes.

Quality Over Quantity: Lessons from Bourbon for IT

When it comes to both bourbon and IT strategy, quality always trumps quantity. For bourbon, it’s about the richness of flavors, and in IT, it’s about choosing the right tech stack that aligns with your business needs.

Risk Management in IT and Bourbon Production

Risk management is an essential part of both bourbon production and IT. For bourbon makers, it could be ensuring the quality of their product, and for IT leaders, it’s about safeguarding their organization’s data and systems.

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation and Experimentation

Cultivating a culture of innovation and experimentation is crucial for success in both IT and bourbon making. Bourbon makers experiment with different grains, yeast strains, and aging processes, while IT leaders encourage innovative ideas for solving business problems.

The Importance of Legacy in IT and Bourbon

Both IT strategy and bourbon production value legacy. Bourbon makers often uphold time-tested processes and recipes, while IT leaders build on past successes and learn from failures to shape future strategies.

Adapting to Change: Lessons from Bourbon for IT Strategy

Finally, both IT strategy and bourbon tasting emphasize the need to adapt to change. As the bourbon industry evolves, connoisseurs must adapt their palate and preferences, while IT leaders must stay ahead of technological trends and changes in the business landscape.


  1. Why compare IT strategy and bourbon tasting?
    While they seem distinct, both require similar skills and attitudes, including a keen eye for detail, a patient approach, and a long-term view.

  2. How does understanding bourbon help with IT strategy?
    Understanding bourbon’s complexities, nuances, and aging process can provide fresh insights into how we approach and understand IT strategy.

  3. What is the role of patience in IT strategy and bourbon tasting?
    In both fields, patience is key. An effective IT strategy and a good bourbon both require time to develop and reveal their full potential.

  4. What does long-term planning look like in both fields?
    In IT, long-term planning involves considering future trends and potential challenges. In bourbon making, it includes decisions about barrel selection and aging processes.

  5. How important is quality over quantity in both contexts?
    Quality is always more important than quantity, whether it’s the richness of bourbon flavors or the alignment of a tech stack with business needs.

  6. What role does risk management play in IT and bourbon production?
    Risk management is crucial to ensure the quality of the bourbon product and safeguard an organization’s data and systems.

  7. How does one cultivate a culture of innovation and experimentation?
    In both fields, encouraging new ideas and being open to experimentation are crucial for progress and success.

  8. What does legacy mean in IT and bourbon making?
    Legacy involves upholding time-tested processes and learning from past successes and failures to shape future strategies.

  9. Why is it important to adapt to change in both fields?
    As the bourbon industry and technology landscape evolve, it’s essential to adapt in order to stay relevant and ahead of the curve.

  10. Can these parallels between IT strategy and bourbon tasting be applied to other fields?
    Yes, these insights can potentially be applied to any field that involves complex decision-making, long-term planning, and an appreciation of nuanced details.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the art of bourbon tasting offers a unique perspective on IT strategy. Both require a deep understanding of subtle details, an appreciation for complexity and nuance, a focus on long-term planning, and an ability to adapt to change. By viewing IT strategy through the lens of bourbon tasting, we can learn valuable lessons about patience, quality, innovation, and legacy. This comparison reminds us that often, the best outcomes—be it a robust IT framework or a richly flavored bourbon—come from a careful blend of science, art, and time.

Image provided by Shot by Thomas Park

Tweet me @kidananubix if you like this post.