Insights sharing what
we know

We'd like to share some of our insights with you. These are based on our experience over many years.

We present these, summarised for your convenience; however each one is based on detailed evidence and research, supported by multiple data-points, and by our own experience. 


If any of these insights spark your interest, please do get in touch and we can tell you more.
We will keep adding to, and updating these articles, so please check back from time-to-time.

  Use Open Source

In our view: open source has won. Open source is how things happen going forward.

Open Source is a key not-so-secret weapon in how we do things. It was also one of the key factors enabling our company to operate at lower cost and with much greater agility.

At Telos Digital, this is particularly critical, both a part of our strategic advice, and as a way in which either we, or our customers, can build/modify systems without the huge expense of starting everything from scratch, and with far greater privacy/security and control of our own destiny.

While Open Source now dominates much of the world of technology, it's surprising how many (large) companies haven't yet caught-on!

  Read article …

  Blockchain is a Distraction

A computer system without blockchain is like a chocolate cake without mustard.

Blockchain is a solution in search of a problem. In every case we've looked at, "technology x with blockchain" is less good than the corresponding "technology x without blockchain". We'll explain why it's all hype, or "an amazing solution for almost nothing".

There are only 3 exceptions to this rule:

  • Bitcoin - which has some limited use as a highly volatile, potentially pseudonymised, currency,
  • NFTs - which are primarily "useful" for money-laundering, and
  • Physical blockchain - a chain, secured to a concrete block, used for preventing bicycle theft!
  Read article …

  Spreadsheets Considered Harmful

You shouldn't use a spreadsheet for important work (I mean it)

Daniel Lemire, computer science professor, Université du Québec, 2014

While spreadsheets make simple tasks very easy, they make moderately-complex tasks much harder than they should be, leading to a high probability of undetected errors. Because spreadsheets are so common, these errors can sometimes have severe and wide-ranging consequences. So, excepting for the simplest of tasks, the spreadsheet is the wrong tool for every job.

Spreadsheets are good for a few things though:

  • Xmas card lists - simple lists of low-criticality information.
  • Quick and dirty models - one-off temporary things, not intended to be shared.
  • Crashing the economy - UK austerity was based on a spreadsheet error.
  Read article …

  ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is not the future, it's the present. It's up to us to ensure that its power is wielded for the betterment of humanity, rather than its detriment.

Chat GPT is a neural-network model, trained on much of the sum of human-knowledge, with a human-friendly, easy-to-use chat interface. Try it, free, at chat.openAI. This technology has potential for huge productivity improvement, and competency-enhancement, in the same way that the Internet, Wikipedia, and the industrial revolution radically changed the way humans learn, think, and work.

It isn't (yet) a true artificial intelligence, but, when interacting with it, it often feels like one. Large language models, LLMs, based on the generative pre-trained transformer, GPT, method, promise massive benefits to humanity, as well as some scary consequences, as shown in this overview. However we feel about this, we all need to learn about it, or be out-competed by those that do.

  Read article …