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Pepsi Vs Coke

Posted in UChicago by Pankaj Gudimella on April 28, 2009

Was reading an old article and the question was what would happen if Pepsi knew Coke’s formula or vice versa.

The answer is pure common sense. It took a genius like Kevin Murphy to get the answer.

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Hiring A-Players in the downturn

Posted in Misc by Pankaj Gudimella on April 11, 2009

Let’s face it, these great, A-Player type people are just really hard to find. Let’s say for sake of argument that A-players make up 1% of the population that could do the job, B-players are 19%, and C-players comprise the other 80%. It’s uncertain if these percentages are accurate, but there definitely are more C-Players than B-players and more B-players than A-players. Now if people find out you are hiring (through a Craigslist ad, posted on careers page, etc.), it probably means you are going to get a massive influx of resumes from C-players. Many of these resumes will be indistinguishable from those of A-players (it’s always hard to distinguish on paper). Which means the amount of noise (aka undesirable hires) will likely increase. Which means more work sifting through these resumes and talking to many more people.

It’s important to screen for great people in order to turn the volume down on all the noise.

Unfortunately, it is really hard to tell the difference between an A-player, B-player, or C-player just from a resume. Which means you need to engage with candidates and therefore you’ll have far more candidates to deal with given this economic climate. My guess – for a standard job announcement, you’ll have three times the number of C-players applying, twice the number of B-players, and the same number of A-players. Wow…your noise level has just massively increased!

Good analysis on why hiring the A-Players is more tougher in a downturn from Summation here.

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No more black swans

Posted in Finance by Pankaj Gudimella on April 8, 2009

Here are the ten principles for a black swan proof world from Nassim Taleb in FT.

1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small.
2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains.
3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus.
4. Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks.
5. Counter-balance complexity with simplicity.
6. Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning.
7. Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”.
8. Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawl pains.
9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement.
10. Make an omlette with the broken eggs.

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Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Strategy

Posted in Microsoft by Pankaj Gudimella on April 3, 2009

This is Microsoft’s cloud computing strategy whiteboarded by Steve Ballmer himself.

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More here.