Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Solver Manifesto

There is much resonance here.  I describe it as being a solution not a problem. Being a go-to guy. Being the expeditious solution. That sort of thing. The biggest difficulty comes when someone asks "what you do". I've tried to formulate the answers to that question on another of my pages... but it took a couple of pages to answer. It was more a list of all the things I've already done, not all the things I could potentially do.

Funny to think of yourself as a solution looking for a problem.

Once you get into that game, its then a question of either taking whatever problems come or starting to select the problems based on some criteria.  Bigger problems? Most problems solved in a period of time? New Problems only? Better compensated problems? More impressive Problems? Problems with the largest scope for improving/destroying society? Start to sound like an academic... oh wait... where do I work again?

The final step is documenting your solutions so others can benefit from the solution you have presented. For that you need a simple, cheap, quick mechanism to publish/edit/reply-to the solutions.... ta-da... the web/blog and a cheap digital camera .... oh wait... that's what I'm doing here.

As I said, much resonance.

I would contest the end of the article about the respect issue.  I have come to think that you will never get respect because most people can't really identify a "Solver" and place them in their hierarchy of respected people. There is too much cognitive dissonance.  Especially when the "solver" does not meet the criteria for all the other people they respect ( rich, famous, important, well dressed, parent, role model, older, educated etc) You will get respect if you can display some or all of these other criteria as well as being a "solver" but its too hard to respect the property of being a "solver" by itself. It's even harder to get respect if you display any properties that are in opposition to those on the respect list.  (young, badly dressed, less educated, modest income.. etc)
Why is this so?  It gets back to the problem of people not being able to put a box around a solver... they are not predictable. You do not fit neatly into a single box... instead you fit loosely into lots of boxes.  But you never fill any one box completely. So if you want a bit of video hacked ... fine, get a solver to do it. But if you want a professional job done... get a professional video editor to do it and pay accordingly. Solvers are unknown and thus untrusted to be "best" at anything.  They are "good enough" when you need to minimize costs on a job ( time, capital, manpower etc).

No one gets respect for being the cheapest, fastest, Q&D solution. People get respect for excellence.

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