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Hatching Eggs

“It is a popular conception that to make rapid fundamental progress it is only necessary to concentrate large quantities of men and money on a problem,” said Charles Kettering.

“Years ago when we were developing the first electrically operated cash register I ran into this type of thinking. My boss was going to Europe and wanted the job finished before he took off. ‘Give Kettering twice as many men so he can finish it up in half the time.’ When I objected to this idea, he asked, ‘Why can’t you? If 10 men can dig 10 rods of ditch in a day, then surely 20 men can dig 20 rods.’

“I replied, ‘Do you think if one hen can hatch a setting of eggs in three weeks, two hens can hatch a setting in a week and a half? This is more a job of hatching eggs than digging ditches.

Bits & Pieces, April 28, 1994, p. 16

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