I'm sort of obsessed over my blog production these days. Being a first time dad, and being 44yrs old (a very old first time father), and being that my wife also works full time, it all means that I have a lot less time now than ever before. My old friend Lee once told me a long time ago after he got married that he realized "your time is no longer your own." He might have first said that after his first child too. I can't remember...
And it just gets worse and worse over time. Imagine getting a new dog along with a newborn. Add in all the shitty commuting time in a big growing city like Seattle. Then add in another new child. Imagine having to travel for work. You're time is basically gone.
Anyway, before I get too far off topic, there are two ways in which this simple mathematical formula has a grip on my life. The first is because I work in sales, quotas matter. We're reminded a lot of the Rule of 78s. It's relatively easy to explain, but to me, a lot more fun to look at it in a spreadsheet. Selling $1000 in January means it bills eleven more times that year. Sell $1000 again in February, and it bills ten more times. Keep that rate of production up, and at the end of the year, you will have generated $78,000 in revenue for your company. Now imagine if your quota was much larger and you did this for a decade. That's the crazy amount of power that a great sales person has on the bottom line of a company. That amount of revenue is, to a large degree why it's possible for sales people to make a lot of money, and conversely, why they are usually the most expensive part of running a business.
So that's the first way in which the Rule of 78s is very important to my existence. Like I said when I started, my time is very squeezed these days. And my time is not really my own. So if I want to crank out one blog post a week, and if I miss my "quota", then the next week I owe myself two blog posts. If I miss that one too, then it keeps building up like a snowball and I feel like shit because I'm not meeting my own commitment. And this commitment isn't even that hard. Now if you're paying attention, this second example doesn't fit the Rule of 78s. In my mind I happen to link my blog quota together with the quotas of my sales reps in my day job and figured it would make an interesting write-up. You might be thinking "yeah, not so much" at this point and "I can't believe I just wanted my precious time reading your stupid diatribe."
Well, at least I am very adept at entertaining myself. Which, if you haven't figured out yet, is one of the main reasons why I write here :)
cheers, and happy AFD eve!
A sales rep and I were on the phone with a customer the other day. He's at a fast growing startup and has been there for only about a month as the new Network Administrator. The company is growing the staff from about 400 to 500 people in a very short period of time and will likely continue to grow. The current internet connection is barely able to keep up with all the demands of internet usage. He's still getting his bearings and asking a lot of good questions in the somewhat unfamiliar space of Enterprise WAN (Wide Area Network) and DIA (Dedicated Internet Access) service management he has been thrown into. The question about upgrading his router and his internet connection came up. He asked "should I upgrade my firewall first or my internet connection, or do I need to upgrade them at the same time?"
* ATTENTION * at this point, you an probably skip to the last paragraph for my colorful analogy.
It wouldn't normally be an issue, but he's upgrading from a FE (Fast Ethernet) connection to a GE (Gigabit Ethernet) connection; from a circuit that can support up to 100Mbps to one that can support up to 1000Mbps. And even though I take it for granted, it's a big deal. His firewall is a bit older and out of it's maintenance contract. It's only got FE ports on it. Since we'll be delivering the GE service via fiber (Single Mode Fiber) and LC or SC connectors, he will need a new firewall that either has native fiber ports on it or some SFP or GBIC ports on it to accept our fiber handoff. If he upgrades his internet connection first, his existing router won't support it, so he would likely have to go through the extra step to buy some media converters. So I recommended that he get his new firewall first, then upgrade the internet connection next. The new firewall will probably have FE and GE ports on there, so he can use the existing FE internet connection until his new GE connection is ready.
Now looking at that last paragraph of the description of the situation, it is probably really boring, and dry, and completely esoteric if you're not in my line of work. After giving it some thought, I thought of a fun way to make an analogy.
Upgrading your firewall and internet connection is like upgrading your toilet and sewer line. When you install that new high capacity, high flow toilet, if you ain't got a new high throughput sewer line to handle all the extra poo being created, then you're going to be standing around with a lot of poo on the floor. And no Network Admin wants to be left with cleaning up dropped poo packets all day long.
* WARNING TO MYSELF: I seem to be inclined toward toilet and poo analogies.
My name is Dae Yu.