The opportunity for latecomers

(There are some fractions here, please persist. It’s worth it.)

Imagine that you have daily driving. Half the distance is on dirt roads where your car can go 10 miles an hour. And half of it is on a good road where you can drive 50 miles an hour.

Which is the better choice: trade in your car for a car that can drive 35 km / h on a dirt road but not better on the highway? Or the one who can’t do better on the dirt road but 200 miles an hour on the highway?


Imagine that your factory has two types of machines, all of which are very busy. Half of them can process steel with an accuracy rate of 2 out of 10. The other half can do it with an accuracy of 80%. Which is the best investment: to tune the poor machines with an accuracy of 30% or to make the new machines perfect, without any errors?

And finally, what’s the best way to improve fleet mileage? For the 14-mile-per-gallon Hummers to switch to Toyota Camrys, or for the Camrys to turn into infinite-mileage electric cars?

In all three cases, since you can’t average the averages, the answer is to improve the laggards.

here is the arithmetic if you are curious.

And U.S should to be curious. Because it’s safer, more productive, and easier to tackle devices, systems, or people that seem so close to doing things right. But it is the latecomers who cost us the most.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *