Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Expertise Matters

For several reasons the importance of expertise is a sore subject for me these days -- most likely because my success has relied heavily on respecting expertise while I work in an industry that by and large does not.  There is often a tendency to label people who have success as Rock Stars and then make the assertion that because someone is a Rock Star they can do anything.  I don't see the data that bears this out. 

I do, however, completely understand why it would be tempting to use the "Rock Star" standard.
 It's not realistic to have expertise in more than a couple areas.  The best you can hope for is expertise in some key areas and then a good filtering system to identify those who have expertise in the area you lack.

So what is a good filtering system?  I am fond of the filter Jonathan Portes posits in a blog that answers the question of which economists to listen to for policy advise
My answer to it is that policymakers and the public should listen to economists who fulfill two critera: first, they have made empirically testable predictions (conditional or unconditional – see Krugman here) that have proved, by and large, to be broadly consistent with the data; and second, they base those predictions on an analytic framework (not necessarily a formal model) that is persuasive. In other words, getting it right alone is not enough; it should be possible to show your workings – to explain why you got it right. Otherwise, your predictions may be interesting, but they tell you little about how to formulate policy.
Translated more generally you want someone who 1. has delivered (either prediction, product, service) and 2. can explain to you how they did it.  That can be a bit tricky in the product development / program management space because a lot of people have their hands in a successful or failed delivery.  But, one mark of expertise is being able to do risk assessments beforehand that are essentially predictions of what could go wrong and it is useful to reference these when projects do go sideway.

Of course this is rather self serving because it tells you that I am very very good (ie have expertise) at Project Management in general and IT Systems Optimization specifically.  On the otherhand, it also says my political predictions are horrible so there is that.


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It's back. It's Tan. It's rested. It's the 2012 Ronde Ohop.

David Longdon of the SeattlePI's Velocity blog writes up the 2012 Ronde Ohop.  He does a decent job of making 2 hours of being beaten over the head and face by big old boulders at speed sound fun and accessable. 

The reality is this: you get to do a nice road ride for about 40 minutes through scenic rural pierce county on relatively flat roads (there is one quick climb but it's after a descent so isn't hard unless you slow down first).  Then you get to do about an hour twenty getting yelled at by Andy Salmon.  Who has a megaphone.  And is drunk.  And Belligerent.  Photo by BikeHugger.

Don't worry cause you'll spend about half of that last hour and change on paved roads.. riding past your car.  And people lounging in chairs eating burgers and drinking beer and cheering you on.  While you look longingly at your car and think "wow, that looks nice". 

So register now.  You know you want to.  And you can do it here: http://www.usacycling.org/events/index.php?event=2087&year=2012

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Professional Blogify-ing

I have been informed that no one does case studies or white papers anymore.   No!  People want stories and I, Michael Pruitt, am nothing if not a story teller.  Plus my DigitalSnack concept is the bomb and I should be using that.  But no one really seems to understand it so I guess if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.  What does all this mean?  Well the good news is more blogging (now with new content! certified prudog fresh!) but alas more professionally type stuff only Andrew Martin will even understand.  Maybe.  He's a Republican so my expectations are low actually.  Zing!

Anyway, I will try my best to make some cycling related posts occasionally just to keep you all happy.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fail Whale Update

I should probably add a 5 to the list below:

5. Laziness of the week award: To Redmond Bicycles for responding to my request to measure my chain to see if it's stretched with the non-ironic "We're very busy so you'll need to leave it today and pick it up on the 26th."  Actually the changing the chain would add two days.  FTR I went next door and got a chain from Gerks.  Took 10 minutes. 

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Still Snarky After All These Years

Taunt my baby gut all you want silly NW Riders.  PruDog is on the comeback trail and now he has two legs showing up to the office instead of the 1.5 he's had for the last few years.  Sure, they have to push around a lot a little more weight than before.  But that's coming down fast!  Trying to stress me out so that I'll eat more isn't going to work Kiddo's!

And now that I am back that means we get the best of PR List p/b Frank Schleck's (soon to b e released) retroactive TUE - 

  1. Best Team-mates of the Night: This award goes to BikeSale.  We only had like 8 guys last night so BikeSale was kind enough to go to the front and drill back any dangerous break they had riders in.  Thanks guys!  It really tool the pressure off ourselves and Apex so we could practice our leadouts undisturbed.  
  2. Most Warn-out Excuse Award: The tried and true "I just wanted to get work in" line when called out for chasing down a team-mate.  Hey Now!  That one never gets old does it?  I mean, it is totally reasonable.  Sit in, wait for you team-mate to actually do some work by attacking and *then* decide it's time to get that effort in.  Outstanding job boys.
  3. Best Subtle "I'm an National Champion" call-out:  Jr Mahan for his National Championship socks.  It was also intructive since I was unaware he was the French Jr Nats Champ.  Learn something new every day.  Next PR I am pulling out that garish refined helmet/glove/sock/escalade combo I have.
  4. Best Thanks for Nothing:  To KR for taking so long to go back to get Erik Scheller who was bridging back on after the break he was in got caught on the prime.  By the time we got there he was back on! Thank me later Erik.

And on final note: Ronde Ohop!!!! It's on like Megatron.  And, as many of you have now heard a bazillionty times, it may well be the only sunny and dry Road Race you do all year.  So go register.  You'll thank me later.  

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Flynn just wants to be loved

It's no secret that your Masters Killer Rohrbots have been all sorts of a mess this year.  Hainsworth's hip is jacked up (should I mention that I kicked it repeatedly when he crashed into me at Boat last year?  Yah, probably not...), El Diablo Blanco broke his collar bone (I suggested just removing it but no one listens to me), Ryan "BurgerMaster!" Perlman cracked a knee trying to show off his mad cross skills at Enumclaw and your very own PruDog not only cracked his lumbar but had cervical disk disease as well (go to one stupid strip club and this is what I get.. what, it's not an STD???  Never mind then...).

Any who.. PruDog is tired of this treachery.  We are the Killer Rohrbots and we win because.. well because we talk all sorts of trash and stuff and are awesome and the chicks dig us and Randy drinks 6 kegs of Rainier before breakfast and such.

Also, this guys just turned 40 and we can't let him win any more than he does can we????

More to the point no one seems to want this guy to win because, well because he's Levin and he's spent years sitting on everyones wheels and then sprinting for the win or chasing his own team mates down.  (ed. - why you got to be such a hater? me - hey, you want to race that way then man up when you're called out)

Anyhoo the game plan was for me to dillegently protect the back and try to attack the field off my front wheel.  Elbows out!  Mission accomplished.

But more to the point Dux Deluxe brought the pain train to town and piloted Jim "chatterbox" Flynn to the line for the win.  

This is what a KR race looks like, btw. 

Significantly better than the spanking we got last year.

Also too, we're back.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Tired of you Jive Turkeys

The good news is that my lumbar is healed and my neck is 80% and closing on 100.   That means that next year I'll be riding with 2 legs instead of 1.5.  The downside is 9 mos of minimal riding and only a few races means I am fat and slow.  I know I know, Erik Anderson wants to know how that's different that normal.

Shut up Erik!  That's why.

My grand plan of winning the Masters Rankings is obviously foiled.  Don't think I don't know one of you greased my basement stairs to take me out.  The worst part is I suspect it was Snow Flake.  Damn You to Hell Perlman.

And no, I am not FakeToddHerriot on twitter but I wish I was.  It's hard enough being real PruDog.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Time to Get My Tits on

Joe Matava is gonna happen.  Get your game on.