Lessons from failure: the Mark 14

At the beginning of the second world war, the US Navy faced a drastic shortage of torpedoes. With the war rapidly escalating, they needed to build their supply quickly and under a tight budget. But given the old adage, “fast, good, cheap: pick two,” this resulted in a torpedo plagued with problems.

In this ignite, I’ll share the story of the Mark 14 torpedo and how it went from an absolute failure to become one of the Navy’s standard munitions for over 40 years. I’ll also share lessons about complex systems, agile development, and most of all, learning from failure.



Jason Yee

Jason is a senior technical evangelist at Datadog. Previously, he was the community manager for DevOps & Performance at O’Reilly Media and a software engineer at MongoDB. Outside of work, he likes ...