Walter’s life experience in Chapter 3 brought him into the world of corporate business, and face to face with the navy’s ballistic missile program. The Q & A section extracts pertinent information from each chapter of his life and presents it as questions and answers.
Q. When Walter was in Otisville, he read about an economic principle that became the essential
foundation for many of his business decisions. Who first observed this concept, and how is it
referred to today?
A. Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist and political scientist, introduced the concept of the
80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s principle or the “law of the vital few.”
Q. How can you apply the 80/20 rule to your personal or professional life?
Q. What lesson did Walter learn from his first major mistake at Sperry?
A. He learned that he needed to have a consensus before making and implementing new ideas.
Q. What was the name of the program that Walter directed, during which he had to report to
the Navy? What did the program do?
A. The Polaris Program which produced the Navy’s nuclear-armed ballistic missile system.
Sperry produced the navigational equipment and managed the navigation system.
Q. What was the name of the project that became Walter’s second major mistake at Sperry?
What did he learn from the mistake?
A. Authorization #72035. He learned to always stay true to his core beliefs.
Q. Have you ever been put in a position that challenged your values? What was the outcome?