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Friday, February 22, 2013

Let me pick your brain

This reminds me of an amusing story about Picasso's napkin. The story goes that Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin - but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: "How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!" "No", Picasso replied, "It took me 40 years". In another story, a machine in a factory has malfunctioned, and the engineers on site can't find the source of the problem. So they call on a retired worker who had spent a long time working with the machine. He comes in, walks up to the machine, looks at it for a minute, pulls out a piece of chalk and draws a circle around the screw that needs to be tightened. He then writes them a bill for $5,000. "$5,000, that's ridiculous, all you did was draw a circle around a screw!" So he writes them a new bill: drawing a circle around a screw: $1. Knowing where to draw it: $4,999. Consultants tell folks, "It is not about your time, it's about the value to your client. When you get it right everybody wins.)

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