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Cook something or get out of the kitchen (peternixey.com)
223 points by petenixey on Apr 20, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

As soon as I finished reading this I hit the back button and my eyes scrambled across the HN frontpage list looking for the article I just read so I could upvote it. I've never been so stupidly excited to upvote something.

This analogy and article are perhaps the best I've heard on the subject because its a metaphor that the ideas people in my life can actually understand.

The metaphor doesn't fret about engineering time, or how simple programming might look but how hard it really is. Ideas people can't relate to those rebuttals anyway.

Instead it brings a very concrete example that almost all humans can understand right away. You want to understand the difference execution makes in an idea? There's a difference between a 9 dollar steak and a 200 dollar steak and its not just the meat, and lots of people understand that. And so I'm going to forward this to a certain ten people in my life.

I've always enjoyed creating analogies like to see why certain behaviors, mindsets, and tactics are okay in some industries and others not. To wet your palette a bit more here's a wonderful essay analogizing math education to music (Famously, The Mathematician's Lament) http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

And a TED Talk comparing the use of patents and trademarks in the fashion industry to software. http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashio...

Both are quite insightful, and I think you'll enjoy them.

FYI: "whet your palate"

I have this great recipe for what I like to call Stone Soup. It's really quite simple...

Wikipedia's version, "Some travellers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travellers. Then the travellers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travellers answer that they are making "stone soup", which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavour, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travellers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all."

And thus, FRACTINT was born!

Following the metaphor:

Sure, it sucks when you have to deal with a fop-cum-restauranteur trying to convince you to sell blah. But you need to listen to the ideas anyway, to hear what people are wanting, or your cuisine turns stale. You need to keep up with the trends of what the customers want to eat, or you end up as a has-been, with a restaurant the does business to the people who never got in when it was the hot thing, slowly rotting to oblivion as eventually everyone who cares or cared has been there, or decided to just resign themselves to never having the experience.

If I'd want to hear what people are wanting, I would much rather listen to people instead of the "fop-cum-restauranteur".

It's simple really, if you're not cooking, cleaning, waiting, providing the building, providing money, marketing or anything BUT providing ideas, you shouldn't be surprised if people find your ideas worthless.

I really like this analogy (as I've been actively developing my cooking skills a lot over the past few years).

I mostly develop recipes through trial and error, or at the very least the existing knowledge from my cooking skills. The idea that someone who doesn't cook could come up with a good recipe is somewhat absurd.

Recipes which are created by people without any experience may sound good (a good idea), but are actually pretty bad; e.g. the bacon explosion.

I feel like I've read like 20 variations on this same article in the last couple months.

Which makes you wonder if they restaurateurs are writing just as many articles complaining about all of the cooks running around looking for someone to build and run a restaurant for them.

What we need is someone like Theo de Raadt to host a 'Coding Nightmares' show where he goes in an lambasts failing companies for their lack of skillz (yes, with a "Z").

For those who want to become a celebrity chef, the writer says to "do something else: marketing, renting restaurants, anything except the job you're not qualified to do."

That's one bit of advice. The other advice, if given to someone who can afford the change, is to take a job as a pantry chef in a small cafe and work your way up.

Your advice is the last sentence of the article ;)

Am I missing a pop culture reference? Last sentence reads, "Get a job. You numpty." I take that as get a job doing something else. I don't think it unreasonable to train for the job you want.

You should have read the whole article, "get a job" is a continuation of paragraph 8 (if any).

It says "Get a job." It doesn't say "Get a job doing something else."

It also doesn't say, "Get a job under a chef as a prep cook." Whereas, above in paragraph 5 he explicitly says to do anything except cook. For me to assume the concluding "Get a job" is a continuation of the theme set forth in "do something else - anything except the job you’re not qualified to do which is to cook" seems reasonable.

Right. Because he's not telling you to get a job under a chef as a prep cook.

He's telling you to get a job.

He's not telling you to get a job doing something else, though he would be cool with that.

He's telling you to get a job.

i wish I could read this but the layout is all over the place and some menu is jumping around in opera mobile.

Blank page on FF with NoScript on. I enabled the primary domain and it's still loading 5 minutes later. Just a grey background so far...

late-loading content is a scourge that is especially noticeable on mobile.

I don't know what a numpty is, but I quite enjoyed this allegory.



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