WB-100 designs are being evaluated?

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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The reason they charge $150 is that market forces, let them get away with it.


They are not getting away with anything. They are being paid what they are worth. The business profits from their effort. Otherwise the business couldn't afford to pay those high wages.

At the aerospace co I worked for I was able to save the company $10 million (in direct costs) and save a year of effort (and do you have any idea what aerospace big project schedule slips cost?) because I saw the way to do it that no one else in the company saw. And the company had thousands of engineers. And I did it at a cost of 3 months of my high rate salary.

Suppose they had paid me 10% of the savings (plus the value of the avoided schedule slip) would they have had to pay more or less than my 3 months salary?

And that was just one project I did. I was known as an expert in bringing troubled projects back on schedule. And doing in times considered impossible at costs that were minuscule. I was involved in another project and was told I had 3 months (and that was considered impossibly tight) to get it back on track. All the overtime I wanted to put in. I said I wasn't a big fan of overtime. That was not received well, but they put me in charge of the recovery plan any way. Cost no object. I did it in 6 weeks with no overtime and a budget of maybe 25K in materials. Was I worth the big bucks?

The point of paying people what they are worth is so that some one who also sees value in their labor is less likely to hire them away in the middle of the project. Paying people what they are worth is defensive. It assures continuity. What does it cost a project to have one of its top producers jump ship for more money in the middle of a project? A lot more than the savings in salary gained by hiring some one on the cheap.

Get top producers and pay them what they are worth. It is the cheapest way to get things done.

You are thinking like a bean counter. Me? I think like a project manager. Because that is what I do. And guess what? After the projects were done the bean counters were always pleasantly surprised.

You absolutely do not want to have personal decisions made the same way that you make decisions on a lot of 4-40 screws. It is self defeating.


What I want is a team of 10 people that are the very best I can find at their market rates. It is cheaper than having 30 people at "average" rates. Much cheaper.

Get a copy of the Brooks book. It will enlighten you.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/020183 ... 0201835959
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

Brooks discusses the cost of communication efficiency and the value of top producers. He does make one glaring error. He equates efficiency with the lines of code per unit time metric. The correct method is problems solved per unit time.

It is much better to have one line of code that took a week to develop than to have 30 lines done in that same week to solve the same problem. Maintenance gets greatly reduced. Explaining it to others on the project is easier. It multiplies.

On projects I would often spend what was considered inordinate amounts of time staring at the walls and doing nothing "productive". Every single place I ever worked had that complaint. And yet in exchange for paying me to "do nothing" the companies got superior results. Both for time and budget expended.

I want 10 more like me working on the various aspects of the Polywell. If I ever get in a position to do anything about it.

When it comes to talent taking a bean counter mentality is never wise.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

One other thing that paying top people top rates gets you is that companies don't waste your time on non-essentials. Meetings are shorter.

Why? Because when the manager sees your face he sees dollar signs and the meter is running. There is value in that.

I have seen it too many times to count. Interminable meetings that never come to decisions when the vast majority of those in the meeting were salaried. Short meetings and quick decisions when the contractors were a significant portion of those involved.

Paying big bucks has advantages not considered by bean counters. Speed.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

There is only one form of altruism I'm interested in. And that is that those doing the work be committed to company profitability.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

MSimon wrote:
The reason they charge $150 is that market forces, let them get away with it.
They are not getting away with anything. They are being paid what they are worth. The business profits from their effort. Otherwise the business couldn't afford to pay those high wages.
At the aerospace co I worked for I was able to save the company $10 million (in direct costs) and save a year of effort (and do you have any idea what aerospace big project schedule slips cost?) because I saw the way to do it that no one else in the company saw. And the company had thousands of engineers. And I did it at a cost of 3 months of my high rate salary.
Suppose they had paid me 10% of the savings (plus the value of the avoided schedule slip) would they have had to pay more or less than my 3 months salary?
Supose they had offered you 25$/hr plus 3% of the savings... Would you have worked there? Would you have worked as hard and as profitably? Sometimes the PROMISE of FUTURE payment is more effective than the current payment.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

KitemanSA wrote:
MSimon wrote:
The reason they charge $150 is that market forces, let them get away with it.
They are not getting away with anything. They are being paid what they are worth. The business profits from their effort. Otherwise the business couldn't afford to pay those high wages.
At the aerospace co I worked for I was able to save the company $10 million (in direct costs) and save a year of effort (and do you have any idea what aerospace big project schedule slips cost?) because I saw the way to do it that no one else in the company saw. And the company had thousands of engineers. And I did it at a cost of 3 months of my high rate salary.
Suppose they had paid me 10% of the savings (plus the value of the avoided schedule slip) would they have had to pay more or less than my 3 months salary?
Supose they had offered you 25$/hr plus 3% of the savings... Would you have worked there? Would you have worked as hard and as profitably? Sometimes the PROMISE of FUTURE payment is more effective than the current payment.
No problem.

Except Sarbanes Oxley makes that pretty much impossible these days.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

imaginatium
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:46 pm

Post by imaginatium »

MSimon wrote:
The reason they charge $150 is that market forces, let them get away with it.


They are not getting away with anything. They are being paid what they are worth. The business profits from their effort. Otherwise the business couldn't afford to pay those high wages.

At the aerospace co I worked for I was able to save the company $10 million (in direct costs) and save a year of effort (and do you have any idea what aerospace big project schedule slips cost?) because I saw the way to do it that no one else in the company saw. And the company had thousands of engineers. And I did it at a cost of 3 months of my high rate salary.

Suppose they had paid me 10% of the savings (plus the value of the avoided schedule slip) would they have had to pay more or less than my 3 months salary?

And that was just one project I did. I was known as an expert in bringing troubled projects back on schedule. And doing in times considered impossible at costs that were minuscule. I was involved in another project and was told I had 3 months (and that was considered impossibly tight) to get it back on track. All the overtime I wanted to put in. I said I wasn't a big fan of overtime. That was not received well, but they put me in charge of the recovery plan any way. Cost no object. I did it in 6 weeks with no overtime and a budget of maybe 25K in materials. Was I worth the big bucks?

The point of paying people what they are worth is so that some one who also sees value in their labor is less likely to hire them away in the middle of the project. Paying people what they are worth is defensive. It assures continuity. What does it cost a project to have one of its top producers jump ship for more money in the middle of a project? A lot more than the savings in salary gained by hiring some one on the cheap.

Get top producers and pay them what they are worth. It is the cheapest way to get things done.

You are thinking like a bean counter. Me? I think like a project manager. Because that is what I do. And guess what? After the projects were done the bean counters were always pleasantly surprised.

You absolutely do not want to have personal decisions made the same way that you make decisions on a lot of 4-40 screws. It is self defeating.


What I want is a team of 10 people that are the very best I can find at their market rates. It is cheaper than having 30 people at "average" rates. Much cheaper.

Get a copy of the Brooks book. It will enlighten you.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/020183 ... 0201835959
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

Brooks discusses the cost of communication efficiency and the value of top producers. He does make one glaring error. He equates efficiency with the lines of code per unit time metric. The correct method is problems solved per unit time.

It is much better to have one line of code that took a week to develop than to have 30 lines done in that same week to solve the same problem. Maintenance gets greatly reduced. Explaining it to others on the project is easier. It multiplies.

On projects I would often spend what was considered inordinate amounts of time staring at the walls and doing nothing "productive". Every single place I ever worked had that complaint. And yet in exchange for paying me to "do nothing" the companies got superior results. Both for time and budget expended.

I want 10 more like me working on the various aspects of the Polywell. If I ever get in a position to do anything about it.

When it comes to talent taking a bean counter mentality is never wise.
Well I guess I used the wrong wording when I said get "away with it". My point is that their billing rare is determined by market forces, not by what they need to earn.

You still are arguing from the point of view of a well funded business venture, instead of a community project with limited capital. As long short term personal gain is the motivating factor, we will have to much longer for WB100 to become a reality. The project needs people who see the bigger picture.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Well I guess I used the wrong wording when I said get "away with it". My point is that their billing rare is determined by market forces, not by what they need to earn.
Who knows what a man needs to earn?
You still are arguing from the point of view of a well funded business venture, instead of a community project with limited capital. As long short term personal gain is the motivating factor, we will have to much longer for WB100 to become a reality. The project needs people who see the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is: if I want to be the most certain of a working design I want the best possible people working on it.

What is the cost of failure?

But OK. You want brain surgery by dentists. I don't recommend it. But if that is how you want to risk your community's money fine. Raise the money and do it.

Just remember: cheap labor can be very expensive.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

imaginatium
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:46 pm

Post by imaginatium »

MSimon wrote:
Well I guess I used the wrong wording when I said get "away with it". My point is that their billing rare is determined by market forces, not by what they need to earn.
Who knows what a man needs to earn?
You still are arguing from the point of view of a well funded business venture, instead of a community project with limited capital. As long short term personal gain is the motivating factor, we will have to much longer for WB100 to become a reality. The project needs people who see the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is: if I want to be the most certain of a working design I want the best possible people working on it.

What is the cost of failure?

But OK. You want brain surgery by dentists. I don't recommend it. But if that is how you want to risk your community's money fine. Raise the money and do it.

Just remember: cheap labor can be very expensive.
You are just repeating yourself. You and I want the same thing: The best in their field, working to create the best possible polywell. We just have differing beliefs about what it takes to get it.

You believe it requires appealing the most base desires for wealth and status; and I believe it can be done by appealing to the most noble aspirations for creating a better world for everyone, and reaping the bounty of the increased prosperity, that cheap clean power can bring.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

You believe it requires appealing the most base desires for wealth and status;


The desire for wealth and status is not base. For a man it gives you a better selection of females. You may not like human nature (there are a lot of self hating humans out there - go figure), but it is what it is. I do get it though. The betas are always at war with the alphas. Another aspect of our humanness.

But hey - if you can get top talent for 25 cents on the dollar more power to you.

Since EMC2 owns the basic patents any one working on this project at below market rates is making a donation of services to EMC2 for no reward. That in my opinion is foolish. Generally you can't count on top performers in technical fields to be foolish. For that you need actors.

What would I do if I was watching you collect underpaid talent and had a project that could use that kind of talent? I'd start to work picking them off. I'd start with the line: "I know you feel this project is important. But here is my project and I can offer you what you are worth."

Golden chains are more secure than an appeal to altruism.

Now if the project could offer shares in the venture that would be good. Risk vs reward. I have taken those deals from time to time. However, Sarbanes Oxley makes that very hard in the USA these days.

BTW when I was more involved with industry I was always getting offers of 10% more to jump ship. I turned them down - not enough to cloud my reputation. However, had I been offered 2X I would have had to regretfully accept. My mate would have been very unhappy to hear that I turned down 2X.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

pfrit
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Post by pfrit »

MSimon wrote: Get a copy of the Brooks book. It will enlighten you.
I have a signed copy. :)
MSimon wrote: Brooks discusses the cost of communication efficiency and the value of top producers. He does make one glaring error. He equates efficiency with the lines of code per unit time metric. The correct method is problems solved per unit time.

It is much better to have one line of code that took a week to develop than to have 30 lines done in that same week to solve the same problem. Maintenance gets greatly reduced. Explaining it to others on the project is easier. It multiplies.
I disagree. I have been paid the "Big Bucks" to do software QA and my experience is that I would always take the 30 lines of code over the one line of code. If you change the phrase "one line of code" to "one well tested, clearly written (non-obfuscated), documented line of code" then I would agree. That is one of Brooks' points. That one line of code solution is all too often completely un-maintainable.
What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

pfrit wrote:
MSimon wrote: Get a copy of the Brooks book. It will enlighten you.
I have a signed copy. :)
MSimon wrote: Brooks discusses the cost of communication efficiency and the value of top producers. He does make one glaring error. He equates efficiency with the lines of code per unit time metric. The correct method is problems solved per unit time.

It is much better to have one line of code that took a week to develop than to have 30 lines done in that same week to solve the same problem. Maintenance gets greatly reduced. Explaining it to others on the project is easier. It multiplies.
I disagree. I have been paid the "Big Bucks" to do software QA and my experience is that I would always take the 30 lines of code over the one line of code. If you change the phrase "one line of code" to "one well tested, clearly written (non-obfuscated), documented line of code" then I would agree. That is one of Brooks' points. That one line of code solution is all too often completely un-maintainable.
If it took a week to write I would hope it had been tested.

And generally I prefer that my code be so well written and the names of things so well chosen that no documentation other than the code itself is required.

I wrote a whole application that way. The government inspector said it was the easiest code to understand he had seen in years. Written in FORTH of course.

Generally I prefer people who are English majors or those avidly interested in writing to design applications and write code.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Also note: testing one line of code is a lot easier than testing 30.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

pfrit
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Post by pfrit »

MSimon wrote:Also note: testing one line of code is a lot easier than testing 30.
Depends on the one line. Have you ever seen the c code to play jingle bells with the ascii bell code?
What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

pfrit wrote:
MSimon wrote:Also note: testing one line of code is a lot easier than testing 30.
Depends on the one line. Have you ever seen the c code to play jingle bells with the ascii bell code?
If it is C code I will bet it is ugly.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

imaginatium
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:46 pm

Post by imaginatium »

MSimon wrote: The desire for wealth and status is not base. For a man it gives you a better selection of females. You may not like human nature (there are a lot of self hating humans out there - go figure), but it is what it is. I do get it though. The betas are always at war with the alphas. Another aspect of our humanness.
That is EXACTLY what I mean by base. The remnants of the evolutionary inheritance of competitiveness, needed to survive our hostile past, in a world of scarcity. Like the preservation of bodyfat by rapid elimination of unused muscle, these are evolutionary hold overs, that no longer serve us, in a world where security and abundance are within our grasp.
MSimon wrote:But hey - if you can get top talent for 25 cents on the dollar more power to you.

Since EMC2 owns the basic patents any one working on this project at below market rates is making a donation of services to EMC2 for no reward. That in my opinion is foolish. Generally you can't count on top performers in technical fields to be foolish. For that you need actors.
Not for no reward, but for a much bigger delayed reward. I would think that EMC2 would be willing to give profit shares, but even if they didn't, the increase in the standard of living, resulting from the technology, would be far more, than the increase in standard of living, from being paid market rates. After all who lives at a better standard of living, King Henry the Eighth or the average middle class American of today? Your short sightedness astounds me
MSimon wrote: What would I do if I was watching you collect underpaid talent and had a project that could use that kind of talent? I'd start to work picking them off. I'd start with the line: "I know you feel this project is important. But here is my project and I can offer you what you are worth."
And just what project would you be picking them off for, and what would you pay them with? And would the personal gain you get from it, be worth saddling the world with years more dependence on oil, with the pollution, disease and poverty, it creates?

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