Adam Grant, Originals

Life Lesson: You Should Probably Avoid Working with IE Users

I’ve always enjoyed digging around data. Sometimes you find unusual correlations. I came across such an anecdote reading Adam Grant’s Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World:

Not long ago, economist Michael Housman was leading a project to figure out why some customer service agents stayed in their jobs longer than others. Armed with data from over thirty thousand employees who handled calls for banks, airlines, and cell-phone companies, he suspected that their employment histories would contain telltale signs about their commitment. He thought that people with a history of job-hopping would quit sooner, but they didn’t: Employees who had held five jobs in the past five years weren’t any more likely to leave their positions than those who had stayed in the same job for five years.

Hunting for other hints, he noticed that his team had captured information about which internet browser employees had used when they logged in to apply for their jobs. On a whim, he tested whether that choice might be related to quitting. He didn’t “expect to find any correlation, assuming that browser preference was purely a matter of taste. But when he looked at the results, he was stunned: Employees who used Firefox or Chrome to browse the Web remained in their jobs 15 percent longer than those who used Internet Explorer or Safari.Thinking it was a coincidence, Housman ran the same analysis for absences from work. The pattern was the same: Firefox and Chrome users were 19 percent less likely to miss work than Internet Explorer and Safari fans.

Then he looked at performance. His team had assembled nearly three million data points on sales, customer satisfaction, and average call length. The Firefox and Chrome users had significantly higher sales, and their call times were shorter. Their customers were happier, too: After 90 days on the job, the Firefox and Chrome users had customer satisfaction levels that Internet Explorer and Safari users reached only after 120 days at work.

—Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

What are you to make of this? One possible explanation would be that the IE users weren’t as technically proficient. Upon further study, that hypothesis didn’t prove true.  Housman eventually concluded the differentiating factor was a user’s willingness to reject the default. The Firefox and Chrome users put in extra effort to do something different,. Their browser use didn’t make them better workers. It merely indicated their drive to make a change for the better.


Training 2016–03–25

I had a nice moderate workout on the bike training for an hour. I finally finished You Are an Ironman while on the bike and watched a little of Daredevil season two on Netflix. What will I do when I’m back riding outside?

Swimming 2016-03-24

Starting the Day Off Swimmingly

5:11am — I’m getting ready to head to the pool for a workout. The schedule calls for 30–45 minutes of technique work. Afterward, I’ll hit the weights to work on arms, shoulders, and possibly a set or two on legs. It looks to be a busy day as I still have much to do with my two sermons for Sunday as well as a shepherding visit tonight. Starting the day off strong always helps.

Bike Trainer 2016-03-23

Turbo Training Day

This is the first week of my official triathlon training plan. I’ve been training for triathlon for a couple of months, but this week I began a plan leading up to my triathlon in Lake Elkhart, Wisconsin on June 11.

Oddly enough, the daily load is quite a bit less than what I was doing ad hoc. My loose personal plan was more in line with training for a 70.3. Given my availability and the race calendar, I had to “settle” for an Olympic distance race.

Today was a 40 minute workout on the bike trainer. I had a 10 minute warmup and then 10 x 60 sec high cadence at 75% max heart rate each followed by 60 seconds of recovery. After 20 minutes of that I finished off with a steady 10 minute cool down. That’s only 40 minutes of workout today. I feel like I’m slacking off. Maybe I’ll fit a run in before dinner.

2016-03-22 Garmin run

Data Mania

I recently found a used-like new Garmin Fenix 3 watch. This amazing device is logging all sorts of crazy data. Along with my external sensors, such as the heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor on my bike, it logs data from a built-in altimeter, barometer, and temperature sensor. I haven’t tested it out yet, but I’m looking forward to using the Garmin HRM-TRI heart rate monitor, which will be able to log underwater heart measurements along with advanced running metrics.

David Foster Wallace on Argumentative Writing and Nonfiction

In December 2004, Bryan A. Garner, who had already struck up a friendship with David Foster Wallace, started interviewing state and federal judges as well as a few key writers. With over a hundred interviews under his belt by January 2006, he called David to suggest they do an interview.

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Colossians 1:28–29

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.


No Uncertain Sound
Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah: A 12-Week Study