Coming in May 2021: A game designed to push you, gently, outside your comfort zone.

idk is a tool designed for you to use to build your ability to be comfortable with being uncomfortable—with working in unfamiliar situations, or facing unpleasant ideas, or simply doing something which you don’t know how to do yet. It’s based on years of research on some of the most innovative and creative teams in the world. Being comfortable with discomfort is an everyday superpower. It lets you function and excel when others would be paralyzed This is because you need to function despite discomfort in order to learn and do new things. Whether in school, at work, in personal life, or in recreation, going outside the comfort zone is essential for growth. Avoiding productive discomfort causes people to miss opportunities to grow and to create and experience new things.

But learning how to become comfortable with productive discomfort is hard.

We avoid discomfort because it is viscerally unpleasant — that twinge of fear that is so much a part of growing up. Modern life is designed so that we rarely need to leave the comfort zone. Most of us are out of practice at recognizing our fear of discomfort and getting over it. This prevents us from doing productively uncomfortable things. So we become even less used to recognizing and dealing with fear of discomfort. It’s a vicious cycle.

But those who manage to break this vicious cycle quickly realize that a bit of discomfort is really not so bad and can lead to great and unexpected things.

Becoming comfortable with productive discomfort requires gradually building up to it. This should be done with intent, by putting yourself in situations carefully structured to produce growth in perspective, experience, or skill. You should do this repeatedly, until it feels natural. ​ And all this should be a practice you choose for yourself, not one imposed on you by someone else.

idk is designed on these four principles.

  1. Progressive loading
  2. Design for growth
  3. Spaced repetition
  4. Self-driven commitment

It’s in production now and will be available (I hope) in May 2021.


I send out a weekly newsletter about dealing with uncertainty, which you could sign up for here.

You could also check out my new book, which is about embracing uncertainty helps make some of the best restaurants in the world both more innovative and more adaptable. It’s available worldwide; you can find buying links here.