The Dilbert Attention Challenge


On Scott Adam’s Dilbert Blog, Scott issued a challenge to write a piece of <500 words in his comment section, with the goal of creating a piece worthy of publication and the attention and adulation of the Dilbert Community.

This challenge stemmed from his post the day before, where he asked his readers if they would be willing to write a piece for the NY Times, without pay, just for the attention. I’m guessing that he doesn’t quite have the juice to get anything he wants into the NY Times (he may be great…but he’s no Oprah). With that, his challenge was to create something to be posted as a guest post on his daily blog (which is one worth reading, by the way).

You’re probably asking, “Rob, you are such a great blogger, you must have accepted the challenge, right?” Thank you for the compliment, and yes, I did write a short post. I went with the “quick and short” option instead of the “take all day to make it perfect” approach.

Rather than make you search for it in the comments (it’s very near the beginning of the comments section), I’ll repost it here. The rules were <500 words with a <50 word self pitch at the end:

Does it pay to be first?

One of my old pointy-haired bosses used to say that 90% of success is just showing up. Another one called it 80%, and I’ve even heard it quoted as high as 99%. My conclusion: 100% of success with statistics is saying it like you mean it. And oh yeah, it help to be the first one to say it.

This is especially true with advice. People remember what they hear first and what they hear last. Everything else is just 100% drivel (according to a study I may have read). That means that being first gives you a 50/50 chance of being paid attention to. Since you can’t control if you are last (without, say, hacking the blog), being first becomes even more important.

Along those same lines, have you heard the statistic on communication that says 93% is non-verbal and only 7% is what you say?  You know that study is misquoted nearly 100% of the time (so I’m told)? It was about first impressions, not communications in general. That non-verbal is obviously important in that first impression, but once they know you, your words better make sense more than 7% of the time. Otherwise you are 100% likely to be last in that persons mind.

And even that will only last until the next yahoo speaks up…


Read Rob’s blog at There is good stuff there; I’m 100% sure!

Not perfect, but maybe Dilbert worthy. If you agree, go to the comments section and vote it up for me.

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