The Knowing-Doing Gap

The Knowing-Doing Gap
by Don Terrill (c) 2005

It's one thing to think you know something, it's totally another to accomplish it. Nasa could tell you exactly how to build the space shuttle, give you all the money, and you would still have zero chance of pulling it off.

This blog post was inspired by a thread on the Speed Talk Forum about "The free exchange of information." Here's the anonymous post that sent the thread off in the ditch:
While I respect what Reher Morrison does with their pit area and stop to look myself I don't exactly agree with the free information shared on here. Some people have spent serious amounts of time and money to develop what they have only to have others see their work and come on here and talk about it, but I guess that comes with the territory. I know Darin gets a lot of praise on here and maybe that's why he shares everything they learn about their pro stock operation, but I just don't see how that benefits them in the long run. Also take a look at the cutter post that was made a while back and take a look at the number of views. Do you think even half those people had that kind of information before hand? No, do you know why? Because they didn't spend the time and money to develop those things. I guess what I'm saying is there are people out there who have worked hard to develop these same things with the intentions of having and edge over the competition only to have Darin bring them up on here to everyone. There is a reason no one typically talks about pro stock motors in depth, because its a business and you don't give away your secrets when your in competition with others. That's why Schmidt and others who lease seal their motors. There is just too much time (research and development) and money put into these types of operations to simply give away what you worked so hard to achieve over your competition.
Darin Morgan (Reher Morrison) in response to criticism that he's too free with his knowledge:
If anyone thinks that the stuff we talk about on here is going to make you a professional engine builder over night, they are diluted. Its not just the information that makes you a professional engine builder, Its hard work, Instinct, experience, talent and perseverance. We could all get together and write the most comprehensive book ever written with every piece of research acquired about an Otto cycle engine since its invention, and a novice who read it, still wouldn't be able to build a winning engine. . Why? Because you cant teach experience, instinct and talent. That goes double for experience!

Most of the stuff we talk about on here are bits and pieces of a massive puzzle. We all worked are Asses off for the experience and knowledge we have acquired over the years. I gain more knowledge and am able to VALIDATE my own findings by sharing information with the people on this board and within the industry. Validating what we see is something you can’t purchase. It worth it weight in gold. The massive amount of variables we have to deal with and manage on any given engine combination is enough to drive a man nuts sometimes. At least it is for me. If someone can shed light on one little piece and validate what I see in a particular area, that's one less thing I have to worry about and have to doubt in the back of my mind. I want people to call me out and dispute my ideas. I want them to call bullshit, and then they have to tell me why they think I am wrong. That's how we all learn. If you think for one second that David or I do not talk and compare notes with other Pro Stock engine builders, your dead wrong. We share info all the time. Hell, we even gave our ring groove cutting tools that took a year to perfect to another major engine builder so he could do it himself. He then traded info on the valve train that helped us. It works both ways. We both gained power and where able to move up the pack.
My response to the post:
The smartest people I know in this industry have all had one thing in common, they network, they freely exchange information. No one is going to talk to you openly if you're guarded and secretive. I see your point, but my experience tells me the open racers have been the smart racers.
In conclusion, there are two reasons to be open with your knowledge:
  1. No one will be able or willing to make the effort to duplicate your success
  2. Others will openly share their knowledge with you
Where I've shared:
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