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Elliot Temple on March 3, 2020

Messages (10)

> "It’s how physicists approach a subject; it’s so vastly different from what we do in business. They don’t start by collecting as much data as possible. On the contrary, they start with one phenomenon, some fact of life, almost randomly chosen, and then they raise a hypothesis: a speculation of a plausible cause for the existence of that fact. [...]"

Excerpt From: Eliyahu Goldratt. “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement.” Apple Books.

curi at 1:51 PM on March 3, 2020 | #15720 | reply | quote

I don't know very accurate book sales numbers (I'd be interested if anyone finds them), but *The Goal* has sold over 6 million copies and *Atlas Shrugged* over 7 million. These numbers are far higher than most philosophers like Popper (though I don't know his specific numbers).

curi at 1:56 PM on March 3, 2020 | #15721 | reply | quote

I sent an email to North River Press, the publisher, to ask about sales number. From some preliminary research online, it seems like only the publisher can know how well their sales have gone; other sources are all approximations from stuff like Amazon ranking.

Freeze at 3:47 PM on March 3, 2020 | #15722 | reply | quote

Comment #15722 is referring to *The Goal*, I forgot to mention that.

Freeze at 3:48 PM on March 3, 2020 | #15723 | reply | quote


patio11 AMA. It's OK. Nothing especially great IMO.

I think patio11 hasn't read Goldratt, despite having recommended *The Phoenix Project* in Jan 2018: https://twitter.com/patio11/status/957876143666819072

Why else wouldn't he have answered my AMA question "Opinion of Eli Goldratt and Theory of Constraints?" (7 upvotes; submitted before the AMA started).

It's just the sort of thing he ought to read. Fits his interests. He's ignored me saying Goldratt related things before. Something is broken. More broadly, all the Goldratt related websites I see look really dated. It should be spreading better. It's had a lot of success for a lot of businesses. I don't know what the problem is.

curi at 11:53 PM on March 10, 2020 | #15845 | reply | quote

#15845 For some reason patio11 answered now, even though the AMA ended yesterday and I expect most of the audience is now gone.


> I enjoyed the Phoenix Project a lot but don't have super-developed thoughts on the Theory of Constraints. (More business advice should be placed in a well-executed fictional narrative.)

I think that means he hasn't read any Goldratt, despite positive exposure to Goldratt ideas. Something is screwy there that he doesn't follow leads on good ideas – I'd guess that's just normal passivity like you see in tons of other people, nothing TOC-specific.

curi at 9:37 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15848 | reply | quote

Goldratt talks about dollar-days. E.g. looking at late orders, multiply the number of days late by the dollars the order is worth. This gives you a metric that takes into account both lateness and order size.

This sort of approach is in use for health:


> One DALY can be thought of as one lost year of "healthy" life. The sum of these DALYs across the population, or the burden of disease

They basically multiply the number of years that a disease effects by the severity of the diseases to get a combined, overall metric. That's like ordering number of days late by severity (importance of that order, in dollars).

Death is a severity of 1. So if you die at 50, and life expectancy is 25, you'll add 25*1 to the result: 25 DALYs. Disabilities have factors between 0 and 1, so maybe being blind is like being half dead, and being in bed with flu is like being three quarters dead but only affects a limited time period. I don't know what factors they use.

curi at 7:27 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15861 | reply | quote

Learn From Emergencies

Goldratt said (paraphrasing from memory):

People use different policies and rules during an emergency. They change what they do to cope with the crisis.

After an emergency, they should look carefully at what they did during the emergency. Should any of it be used all the time?

Their emergency behavior reveals a lot of their intuition and common sense thinking about what will be effective. It's worth careful review. It often contains some good ideas.


The context of Goldratt's advice was a business facing an emergency like a warehouse flooded, not a coronavirus pandemic. But it applies to a coronavirus pandemic too.

Sometimes people notice a bit of this in a haphazard way. E.g.:


> Maybe we should govern like we're in a pandemic more often:

(Then he gave some political policy bullet points that he likes, which I partly agree with and partly disagree with.)


My notes on Goldratt on emergencies, from my Eli Goldratt Screencasts product:

> People use simple, intuitive solutions to handle emergencies. Whatever worked in an emergency has something good and powerful about it – it’s so good it solved an emergency that the normal system could not handle. So consider using it all the time, even when there is no emergency. You’ll have to consider what harm it will cause to use it on an ongoing basis, and how you can fix that, and if you work that out then you may have invented a great approach.

curi at 12:45 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16013 | reply | quote

What does Goldratt say about drivers of behaviour? Problem solving behaviour more specifically

Anonymous at 11:29 PM on April 7, 2020 | #16303 | reply | quote

#16303 What sort of behavior? Can you be more specific about the question or issue?

curi at 11:32 PM on April 7, 2020 | #16304 | reply | quote

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