There is an old story that I like, but I can’t find it on the web. It goes something like this:
This was back in the days of large servers with big vacuum tubes. A major server stopped working, causing panic in a large corporation. All work ground to a halt. The engineers could not figure out why the machine had stopped working. They called in the best of the best, a consultant named Smith.
Smith looked at the server closely. He pulled a roll of duct tape out of his back pocket and tore off a piece. Smith reached in deep into the inside of the machine and placed the duct tape over a small valve. Immediately, the server whirred to life to the great relief of the executives.
The famed consultant, Smith, handed his invoice to the management for a million dollars. It read:
- Roll of Duct Tape: $1.99
- Knowing which valve to put it on. $999,998.01
I wish I could find the original way the joke was told. To me the lesson is two fold.
- Tools are nothing without an expert.
- An expert is nothing without his tools.