The Garbage In, Garbage Out Buffer

GIGO

Computer wonks like to talk about garbage in/garbage out. A simple example: if there’s a mistake in the way a blog post is encoded, many XML/RSS readers will choke on it, preventing all future posts from showing up.

The IT guys put up their hands and say, “well, if you did not have a lousy character, it would not have broken… GIGO.”

That’s not resilient.

The work of the middleman is to inspect and recover. If your restaurant gets lousy fish from the boat, you don’t get to serve it and proclaim garbage in garbage out. No, your job is to inspect what you get, and if necessary, change it.

If the school board gives the teacher lousy instructions, the teacher can easily put up his hands and say, “I’m just doing my job.” The great teacher doesn’t do that, of course. He provides a buffer between the administrators and the his real customers, the students.

If a receptionist is given a handwritten letter to type, she doesn’t just type it out with the original spelling mistakes on the paper, she applies her mind and correct spelling on the document. She doesn’t say I am following instructions and typing exactly what I was given.

Entrepreneurs are not thermometers (just measuring and the telling the temperature), they are thermostats (they adjust the temperature to the desired set-point).

There will always be garbage in. It’s up to you as to whether or not there will be garbage out.

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