Daily Archives: May 11, 2007

Technology for Procurement

ISM may be over, but that doesn’t mean that conference season is. If you check out my events page over on Sourcing Innovation, you’ll see there are still lots of events to come. One event in particular that I am going to point out is EyeForProcurement’s Technology for Procurement event coming up next month – June 19-20 at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway Hotel in San Francisco.

In the spirit of EyeForTransport events, they are focussed on bringing together a wide range of leading industry practitioners and executives to share their stories, tactics, and strategies for success – something every practitioner can benefit from. Furthermore, their events are usually in the “decent size range” – not so many attendees that you feel lost but not so few that you feel that it was not a good use of your time. (It’s one of the few events in the first half of this year that I’m actually hoping to make. I was hoping to make Synergy, but I needed to be somewhere else at the time.)

And if you like technology, and are an Aberdeen sponsor or subscriber, you might also want to consider attending Aberdeen’s Product Innovation Summit later this month.

The Top Three XI: Dale Earnhardt

Today I’m thrilled to bring you a guest post from The Blogging Thunder From Down Under. It’s been a while since the MacQuarie Bank let him out of the vault, so I hope you enjoy Doug Hudgeon’s guest post – as it might be a while before they let him out of the vault again.

Aaah, the number three. Is there another number so pregnant with

metaphor and meaning? Tripartite systems have been in vogue for

centuries with everyone from Euclid (triangle) to the Christian God

(Trinity) to Adam Smith (Rents, Wages and Stock Profits) speaking in

threes. Given our apparently innate tendency towards triposis, Michael

has chosen wisely his topic of the Top 3.

I associate “Top 3” with Dale Earnhardt, who dominated the NASCAR

speedways driving car number 3 – he was undoubtedly, the Top 3 of his

era. And from there, I am reminded of a terrific article by David

Ronfeldt, “Social Science at 190 MPH on NASCARs Biggest Speedways“.

The article discusses the conditions under which competitors cooperate

on the NASCAR circuit (cars drafting in a line travel faster) and the

conditions under which they compete (a driver can ‘defect’ from the

car in front by pulling aside from the lead car’s bumper thus trapping

the lead car outside the drafting line causing the car to lose as many

places as there are cars in the line; whilst running the risk that the

third car may follow the first thus leaving the ‘defector’ hung out to


The article concludes that the best strategy is tit-for-tat,

cooperating with those who cooperate with you and punishing those who

leave you hung out to dry. This allows you to develop allegiances with

‘friends’ and discourages your friends from defecting. The drivers

viewed as most capable of leading others to the front will develop the

most friends – success breeds success.

There’s lessons in this for all of us.