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The widget machine

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 28/05/22 18:00


I’m really sorry if you’ve heard this anecdote before but it’s worth putting it down here in the blog so that I can reference it later.

It’s a metaphor, just a use of imagery in order to get a point across.

So, there is a factory that makes widgets from a ginormous widget machine.

The widget machine pushes out 50,000 widgets a day but the factory charges £1 per widget - £50,000 a day.

The machine breaks down.

The factory panics and tries to fix it in-house, they try for 2 days and have lost £100,000 of widgets while they’re unable to fix the widget machine.

They’re aware there is a widget man, someone whose experienced and skilled at fixing widget machines.

They call the widget man.

We’re halfway into day 3 and the factory is now down about £125,000 worth of widgets.

The widget man arrives with a cloth bag and spends 3 minutes walking round the widget machine

Once he’s finished his complete walk around the machine, he opens the cloth bag and pulls out a wooden mallet.

He hits the widget machine once.

The widget machine starts to work again.

Immediately following this the widget man presents the factory owner with a bill for £50,000. The factory owner is aghast and complains and shouts to the widget man “what the hell are you thinking, how can you possibly charge this much money? You’ve only been here for 5 minutes!”.

The widget man replies, “3 minutes to walk round the machine, 1 minute to decided where to hit it, 1 minute to hit it and 25 years of experience to know where to hit it”.

Do you get it?


Blog Post Number - 3094 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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