[Project 88 Part 10] How to Hammer Your Way to Success

How to Hammer Your Way to Success

Everyone by now has heard this story in one form or another…

It’s usually a former nuclear power plant engineer…or super-mechanic that fixes the engines on cruise ships.

Here's the setup:

The nuclear plant (or submarine) is about to go into melt down.

The mechanic is flown out, and begins tapping on pipes with a hammer.

He then draws an ‘X’ on a pipe, and tells them to replace it.

The disaster is averted.

He hands over a bill for his services: $50,000.

The manager is flabbergasted at the outrageous price, and asks for an itemized bill.

Hammer: $5

Sharpy: $1

Knowing where to tap with the hammer: $49,994

Total: $50,000

When we first built Portfolio Boss, it was slower than a herd of turtles marching through peanut butter.

But it worked as advertised, and was an instant hit…but boy was it fugly.

After launching the product, I received an email from a buyer in The Netherlands.

He told me he could speed the software up considerably…

…and he’d do it for free.

Too good to be true?

After some back and forth chat, I knew he was the real deal.

At first, he was part-time, but after a few months, he became an invaluable fulltime team member, and has remained so for the past few years.

His name is Ruud, and he’s the main programing stud that's behind turning PB a quality, professional, and blinding fast back testing platform.

Designing software for a single computer is hard enough, but Project 88 has been a monster of a project.

Yet I’m thankful that we can even attempt to predict future stock prices using pattern match on a gargantuan database of 50,000 listed and delisted stocks.

We live in a world where computer access has become commoditized; otherwise I’d have to spend around $46 million to buy all the equipment/tech support/infrastructure.

But that doesn’t mean this project is cheap.

It can cost up to $30/hour just to run one super-fast database that can feed the thousands of computers we have at our disposal.

That’s $22,000 per month for a 4000 DTU database (bringing the total to $170,800 per month if we kept all the computers plugged in).

What the heck is a DTU?

It's a nerd number.

It stands for database transaction units, and it measures a blend of memory, CPU, and read and write rates.

A typical desktop can handle around 50-100 DTUs.

Long story short, we were having all sorts of issues with connecting even the lighting quick database to 2000 computer cores.

But there was an elegant – and exquisitely simple – solution.

Ruud stuffed the entire database into a ZIP file, and presto! … A standard database works just fine now feeding data to all those computers.

And just like that, problem solved.

And we’re saving up to $20,000 per month.

He knew where to tap the hammer.

In a matter of a few days, he figured out the solution.

But that’s not really true is it?

Like the mechanic, he had many years of experience to guide him to a relatively quick solution.

Years of blood, sweat, and tears I might add.

Daily frustrations that make you want to heave your now cold coffee mug (the one that says Best Dad) across the room towards an unsuspecting wall…

…along with the Eureka moments that make the challenge worthwhile.

Case in point:

Imagine if a single idea could boost your income by 10-20-30%.

With trading, that can happen.

Recently, I was looking at our original DB Transaction strategy, and had a light bulb moment.

And with one little line of code, boosted its performance by 12.5% per year.

So if you’re making $100,000 per year with the strategy, it would give you an extra $12,500.

Just like that…an instant overnight, 20-year success. Haha.

Even though it can be frustrating in the beginning (and even after decades), the rewards from trading can be massive.

Personal freedom — or F U money as I like to call it — makes the struggle worthwhile.

Stick with it.

You're just one hammer tap away…

Trade smart,

Dan