Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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7/20/04
Hanny Saad: Ever-Changing Cycles in Plumbing

I work at a four-story building. The trading floor where I work is on the fourth floor. The traders are very messy guys, and you can't imagine how filthy the toilets are on our floor The second floor, however, where the operations department is, is a female-dominated environment where the men's washrooms are totally unused and spotlessly clean.

I discovered this fact the day I started working here five years ago. I started visiting the washrooms on the second (the clean ones). I would take the stairs to avoid being asked in the elevator what I was doing on the second floor.

A few months ago, I found out that our operation is moving to one of the towers downtown. I figured what the hell, I'll take the elevators. Even if they ask me where I am going, I'll tell them. By the time they catch on, we'll have moved downtown.

Sure enough, I was asked in the elevator what I was doing on the second floor. To my surprise, in less than a week everybody was going to the second-floor washrooms. Now the second-floor washrooms are the messiest of all, and the fourth-floor washrooms are clean again. Saves me the trip

What do you learn from this toilet story?

  1. If you have an edge, keep it as close as you can to your chest.
  2. Don't get lazy (take the stairs, not the elevator).
  3. Cycles will change.
  4. Cycles will change faster than you expect.
  5. If your niche is discovered, you might find a new niche close by.

Amazing how much you learn from a visit to the facilities.