The early designs for new chips con- tinue to have laws, and sometimes these laws are not detected until the product is already in use by consumers. It now seems to feel that problems need to be ixed immediately. Indeed, similar laws were found in in the early versions of the Pentium II and Pentium Pro processors.
This time, Intel immediately conirmed that the law existed and offered customers software that would correct it. In addition to the apology, they offered consumers replacements for the defective software. Runway Concrete at the Denver International Airport In the early s, the city of Denver, Colorado, embarked on one of the largest public works projects in history: the construction of a new airport to replace the aging Stapleton International Airport.
Of course, the size and complexity of this type of project lends itself to many problems, including cost overruns, worker safety and health issues, and controversies over the need for the project. The con- struction of DIA was no exception. Perhaps the most widely known problem with the airport was the malfunction- ing of a new computer-controlled high-tech baggage handling system, which in pre- liminary tests consistently mangled and misrouted baggage and frequently jammed, leading to the shutdown of the entire system.
Problems with the baggage handling system delayed the opening of the airport for over a year and cost the city millions of dollars in expenses for replacement of the system and lost revenues while the airport was unable to open. In addition, the baggage system made the airport the butt of many jokes, especially on late-night television.
More interesting from the perspective of engineering ethics are problems dur- ing the construction of DIA involving the concrete used for the runways, taxiways, and aprons at the airport. The story of concrete problems at DIA was irst reported by the Denver Post in early August of as the airport neared completion.
Parts of these suits were allegations that 3Bs had altered the recipe for the concrete used in the runway and apron construction, deliberately diluting the concrete with more gravel, water, and sand and thus less cement , thereby weakening it. At irst, Denver oficials downplayed the reports of defective concrete, relying on the results of independent tests of the concrete.
In addition, the city of Denver ordered core samples to be taken from the runways. Tests on these cores showed that the runway concrete had the correct strength. The subcontractors claimed that the improperly mixed concrete could have the proper test strength, but would lead to a severely shortened runway lifetime.
The FBI also became involved in investigat- ing this case, since federal transportation grants were used by Denver to help inance the construction of the runways. This announcement was followed on November 13, , by a lengthy story in the Denver Post detailing a large number of allegations of illegal activities and uneth- ical practices with regard to the runway construction. Chapter 2 Professionalism and Codes of Ethics 31 The November 13 story revolved around an admission by a Fort Collins, Colorado, company, Empire Laboratories, that test reports on the concrete had been falsiied to hide results which showed that some of the concrete did not meet the speciications.
Attorneys for Empire said that this falsiication had hap- pened ive or six times in the course of this work, but four employees of Empire claimed that the altering of test data was standard operating procedure at Empire. The nature of the test modiications and the rationale behind them illustrate many of the important problems in engineering ethics, including the need for objectivity and honesty in reporting results of tests and experiments. One Empire employee said that if a test result was inconsistent with other tests, then the results would be changed to mask the difference. The con- crete was tested by pouring test samples when the actual runways were poured.
These samples were subjected to lexural tests, which consist of subjecting the con- crete to an increasing force until it fails. The tests were performed at 7 days after pouring and also at 28 days.
Many of the test results showed that the concrete was weaker at 28 days than at 7 days. However, the results should have been the oppo- site, since concrete normally increases in strength as it cures. Empire employees indicated that this apparent anomaly was because many of the 7-day tests had been altered to make the concrete seem stronger than it was. Other problems with the concrete also surfaced. Some of the concrete used in the runways contained clay balls up to 10 inches in diameter.
While not uncommon in concrete batching, the presence of this clay can lead to runways that are signii- cantly weaker than planned. Questions about the short cement content in 3Bs concrete mixture also resur- faced in the November Denver Post article. When an inspector was due, they used the correct recipe so that concrete would appear to be correctly formulated.
The shorting of the concrete mixture could also be detected by looking at the records of materials delivered to the batch plants. However, DIA administrators found that this documentation was missing, and it was unclear whether it had ever existed. A batch plant operator also gave a sworn statement that he had been directed to fool the computer that operated the batch plant. The computer was fooled by tampering with the scale used to weigh materials and by inputting false numbers for the moisture content of the sand.
In some cases, the water content of the sand that was input into the computer was a negative number! In his statement, the batch plant operator also swore that this practice was known to some of the highest oficials in 3Bs. Despite the problems with the batching of the concrete used in the runways, DIA oficials insisted that the runways built by 3Bs met the speciications.
This asser- tion was based on the test results, which showed that although some parts of the runway were below standard, all of the runways met FAA speciications. On October 19, , the Denver Post reported the results of a lawsuit brought by 3Bs against the city of Denver. The city claimed that this money was not owed. The reduction was a penalty due to low test results on some of the concrete.
As of the spring of , DIA has been in operation for many years and no problems have surfaced regarding the strength of the runways.
Unfortunately, problems with runway durability might not surface until after several more years of use. In the meantime, there is still plenty of litigation and investigation of this and other unethical acts surrounding the construction of this airport. Competitive Bidding and the Paradyne Case Although competitive bidding is a well-established practice in purchasing, it can lead to many ethical problems associated with deception on the part of the vendor or with unfairness on the part of the buyer in choosing a vendor. The idea behind competitive bidding is that the buyer can get a product at the best price by setting up competition between the various suppliers.
Especially with large contracts, the temptation to cheat on the bidding is great. Problems also exist with buyers who make purchase decisions based on ele- ments other than the advertised bid criteria, who leak information to a preferred bidder, or who give advance notice or detailed knowledge of evaluation procedures to preferred bidders. The Paradyne computer case is useful in illustrating some of the hazards associated with competitive bidding.
Its requirement was for computers that provide access to a central database. This database was used by ield ofices in the processing of beneit claims and in issuing new social security num- bers. This requirement was intended to minimize the ield testing and bugs associated with customized systems.
Problems occurred immediately upon award of the contract, when the Paradyne computers failed the acceptance testing. The requirements were inally relaxed so that the computers would pass. After delivery, many SSA ield ofices reported fre- quent malfunctions, sometimes multiple times per day, requiring manual rebooting of the system. After nearly two years of headaches and much wasted time and money, the system inally worked as planned [Davis, ]. Subsequent investigation by SSA indicated that the product supplied by Paradyne was not an off-the-shelf system, but rather was a system that incorporated new technology that had yet to be built and was still under development.
The bid was written as if this system currently existed. However, at the time that the bid was prepared, the system did not exist and had not been developed, proto- typed, or manufactured [Head, ]. The RFP stated that there was to be a preaward demonstration of the prod- uct, not a demonstration of a prototype. Paradyne disingenuously claimed that since the DEC equipment was based on a bit processor, as was the P they proposed, it was irrelevant whether the machine demonstrated was the DEC or the actual P Of course, com- puter users recognize that this statement is nonsense.
There were also questions about the operating system. Even a functioning hardware system will not operate correctly without the correct operating system. No software has ever worked correctly the irst time, but rather requires extensive debugging to make it operate properly with a new system.
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Some of the blame for this iasco can also be laid at the feet of the SSA. There were six bidders for this contract. Each of the bidders was to have an on-site visit from SSA inspectors to determine whether it was capable of doing the work that it included in its bid. Moreover, Paradyne was judged based on its ability to manufacture modems, which was then its main business. As part of its attempt to gain this contract, Paradyne hired a former SSA oficial who, while still working for SSA, had participated in preparing the RFP and had helped with setting up the team that would evaluate the bids.
However, when the Paradyne machine failed the initial acceptance test, this Paradyne oficial was directly involved in nego- tiating the relaxed standards with his former boss at SSA. This situation was resolved when the Paradyne computers were inally brought to the point of functioning as required.
Harris, Jr. Pritchard, and Michael J. Roland Schinzinger and Mike W. Paradyne Computers J. Robert V. Do you think that these skills are primarily physical or intellectual skills? Give examples from professions such as law, medicine, and engineering, as well as from non-professions. You can ind infor- mation on this in magazines, newspapers, or on the internet. Apply an engi- neering code of ethics to this case. What guidance might one of the engineering society codes of ethics have given the Thiokol engineers when faced with a decision to launch?
Which speciic parts of the code are applicable to this situ- ation? Does a manager who is trained as an engineer still have to adhere to an engineering code of ethics? Start by deciding what type of code you want: short, long, detailed, general, etc. Then, list the important ethical issues you think students face. Finally, organize these ideas into a coherent structure. Deine the type of company you are running, then develop an appropriate code of ethics. As in Question 2. Then, list speciic points that are impor- tant—for example, relationships with vendors, treatment of fellow employ- ees, etc.
Finally, write a code that incorporates these features. In developing your code of ethics, you should think about the difference between business policies and ethical concerns. For example, business policies might be spe- ciic about what time workers should arrive each day and how many hours they should work; a code of ethics would focus more on integrity in follow- ing the business rules of a company. Pay special attention to issues of accurate representation of engineered products and to safety issues. Is the answer to this question different if the defect is a safety issue rather than simply a law?
It might be useful to note in this discussion that although there is no appar- ent safety concern for someone using a computer with this law, PCs are often used to control a variety of instruments, such as medical equipment. For such equipment, a law might have a very real safety implication.
Is the answer to this question different if the customer is a bank that uses the computer to calculate interest paid, loan payments, etc. Is it ever possible to say that no defect exists in a product or structure? In other words, if Intel got away with selling lawed chips before without informing consumers, does that fact have any bearing on this case? How might this campaign have affected what happened in this case? After the chips began to be sold? After the law became apparent? What alternative might have existed to altering the test data on the concrete? The supplier or the purchaser?
Were the engineers and managers of Paradyne operating ethically? Paradyne claimed that the use of the present tense in its bid which led SSA to believe that the P actually existed was acceptable, since it is common business practice to advertise products under development this way. Was this a new product announcement with a speciied availability date? Is there a distinction between a response to a bid and company advertising? Is it acceptable to respond to a bid with a planned system if there is no indication when that system is expected to be available?
These other components were mostly off the shelf, but they had never been integrated into a system before. Does this meet the SSA requirement for an existing system? If the requirements were going to be modiied, should the bidding process have been reopened to the other bidders and others who might now be able to bid?
Should bidding be reopened even if it causes a delay in delivery, increased work for the SSA, etc.?
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Did this relationship give Paradyne an unfair advantage over its competition? I n late , a pressure-relief valve on a tank used to store methyl isocyanate MIC at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally opened. MIC is a poisonous compound used in the manufacture of pesticides. When the valve opened, MIC was released from the tank, and a cloud of toxic gas formed over the area surrounding the plant. Unfortunately, this neighborhood was very densely populated. Some two thou- sand people were killed, and thousands more were injured as a result of the accident.
Many of the injured have remained permanently disabled.
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The causes of the accident are not completely clear, but there appear to have been many contributing factors. Pipes in the plant were misconnected, and essential safety systems were either broken or had been taken off-line for maintenance. The effects of the leak were intensiied by the presence of so many people living in close proximity to the plant. Among the many important issues this case brings up are questions of balancing risk to the local community with the economic beneits to the larger community of the state or nation.
Undoubtedly, the presence of this chemical plant brought signii- cant local economic beneit. However, the accident at the plant also brought disaster to the local community at an enormous cost in human lives and suffering.
How can we decide if on balance the economic beneit brought by this plant outweighed the potential safety hazards? Codes of ethics can be used as an aid in analyzing ethical issues. In this chapter, we will examine moral theories and see how they can also be used as a means for analyzing ethical cases such as the Bhopal disaster. Unfortunately, a thorough and in-depth discus- sion of all possible ethical theories is beyond the scope of this text. Rather, some important theories will be developed in suficient detail for use in analyzing cases. Our approach to ethical problem solving will be similar to problem-solving strat- egies in other engineering classes.
To learn how to build a bridge, you must irst learn the basics of physics and then apply this knowledge to engineering statics and dynamics. Only when the basic understanding of these topics has been acquired can problems in structures be solved and bridges built. Similarly, in ethical problem solv- ing, we will need some knowledge of ethical theory to provide a framework for understanding and reaching solutions in ethical problems.
In this chapter, we will develop this theoretical framework and apply it to an engineering case. We will begin by looking at the origins of Western ethical thinking. Numerous books, some of them quite lengthy, have already been written on this subject. However, it is instructive to give a brief outline of the origins and development of the ethical principles that will be applied to engineering practice. The moral and ethical theories that we will be applying in engineering ethics are derived from a Western cultural tradition.
In other words, these ideas origi- nated in the Middle East and Europe. Western moral thought has not come down to us from just a single source. Rather, it is derived both from the thinking of the ancient Greeks and from ancient religious thinking and writing, starting with Judaism and its foundations. Although it is easy to think of these two sources as separate, there was a great deal of inluence on ancient religious thought by the Greek philosophers.
The written sources of the Jewish moral traditions are the Torah and the Old Testament of the Bible and their enumeration of moral laws, including the Ten Commandments. Greek ethical thought originated with the famous Greek philosophers that are com- monly studied in freshman philosophy classes, principally Socrates and Aristotle, who discussed ethics at great length in his Nichomachean Ethics. Greek philosophic ideas were melded together with early Christian and Jewish thought and were spread throughout Europe and the Middle East during the height of the Roman Empire.
Ethical ideas were continually reined during the course of history. Many great thinkers have turned their attention to ethics and morals and have tried to provide insight into these issues through their writings. For example, philosophers such as Locke, Kant, and Mill wrote about moral and ethical issues. The thinking of these philosophers is especially important for our study of engineering ethics, since they did not rely on religion to underpin their moral thinking. Rather, they acknowledged that moral principles are universal, regardless of their origin, and are applicable even in secular settings.
Chapter 3 Understanding Ethical Problems 39 Many of the moral principles that we will discuss have also been codiied and handed down through the law. So, in discussing engineering ethics, there is a large body of thinking—philosophical, legal, and religious—to draw from. However, even though there are religious and legal origins of many of the moral principles that we will encounter in our study of engineering ethics, it is important to acknowledge that ethical conduct is fundamentally grounded in a concern for other people.
It is not just about law or religion. Ethical problem solving is not as cut and dried as problem solving in engineering classes. In most engineering classes, there is generally just one theory to consider when tackling a problem. In studying engineering ethics, there are several theories that will be considered. Rather, it relects the complexity of ethical problems and the diversity of approaches to ethical problem solving that have been developed over the centuries.
Having multiple theories to apply actually enriches the problem-solving pro- cess, allowing problems to be looked at from different angles, since each theory stresses different aspects of a problem. Even though we will use multiple theories to examine ethical problems, each theory applied to a problem will not necessarily lead to a different solution. Frequently, different theories yield the same solution. Our basic ethical problem-solving technique will utilize different theories and approaches to analyze the problem and then try to determine the best solution.
Before looking more closely at individual moral theories, we should start with a deinition of what a moral theory is and how it functions. A moral theory deines terms in uniform ways and links ideas and problems together in consistent ways [Harris, Pritchard, and Rabins, ]. This is exactly how the scientiic theories used in other engineering classes function. Scientiic theories also organize ideas, deine terms, and facilitate problem solving. So, we will use moral theories in exactly the same way that engineering theories are used in other classes.
There are four ethical theories that will be considered here, each differing according to what is held to be the most important moral concept. Utilitarianism seeks to produce the most utility, deined as a balance between good and bad consequences of an action, taking into account the consequences for everyone affected. A different approach is provided by duty ethics. Duty ethics contends that there are duties that should be performed for example, the duty to treat others fairly or the duty not to injure others regardless of whether these acts lead to the most good. Rights ethics emphasizes that we all have moral rights, and any action that violates these rights is ethically unacceptable.
Like duty ethics, the ultimate overall good of the actions is not taken into account.
Smoke & Mirrors
Finally, virtue ethics regards actions as right that manifest good character traits virtues and regards actions as bad that display bad character traits vices ; this ethical theory focuses on the type of person we should strive to be. Utilitarianism holds that those actions are good that serve to maximize human well-being. An example of this theory that has been played out in this country many times over the past century is the building of dams. Dams often lead to great beneit to society by providing stable supplies of drinking water, lood control, and recreational opportunities.
However, these beneits often come at the expense of people who live in areas that will be looded by the dam and are required to ind new homes, or lose the use of their land. Utilitarianism tries to bal- ance the needs of society with the needs of the individual, with an emphasis on what will provide the most beneit to the most people. Utilitarianism is fundamental to many types of engineering analysis, including risk—beneit analysis and cost—beneit analysis, which we will discuss later. However, as good as the utilitarian principle sounds, there are some problems with it. First, as seen in the example of the building of a dam, sometimes what is best for everyone may be bad for a particular individual or a group of individuals.
It consists of a system of tunnels bored into underground salt forma- tions. These salt beds are considered by geologists to be extremely stable, especially to incursion of water which could lead to seepage of the nuclear wastes into ground- water. However, there are many who oppose this facility, principally on the grounds that transportation of the wastes across highways has the potential for accidents that might cause health problems for people living near these routes.
An analysis of WIPP using utilitarianism might indicate that the disposal of nuclear wastes is a major problem hindering the implementation of many useful technologies, including medicinal uses of radioisotopes and nuclear generation of electricity. Solution of this waste disposal problem will beneit society by providing improved health care and more plentiful electricity. The slight potential for adverse health effects for individuals living near the transportation routes is far outweighed by the overall beneits to society. So, WIPP should be allowed to open. As this exam- ple demonstrates, the utilitarian approach can seem to ignore the needs of indi- viduals, especially if these needs seem relatively insigniicant.
Another objection to utilitarianism is that its implementation depends greatly on knowing what will lead to the most good. Frequently, it is impossible to know exactly what the consequences of an action are. It is often impossible to do a com- plete set of experiments to determine all of the potential outcomes, especially when humans are involved as subjects of the experiments. So, maximizing the beneit to society involves guesswork and the risk that the best guess might be wrong. Despite these objections, utilitarianism is a valuable tool for ethical problem solving, provid- ing one way of looking at engineering ethics cases.
Before ending our discussion of utilitarianism, it should be noted that there are many lavors of the basic tenets of utilitarianism. Two of these are act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism focuses on individual actions rather than on rules. The best known proponent of act utilitarianism was John Stuart Mill — , who felt that most of the common rules of morality e. However, Mill felt that individual actions should be judged based on whether the most good was produced in a given situation, and rules should be bro- ken if doing so will lead to the most good.
Rule utilitarianism differs from act utilitarianism in holding that moral rules are most important. Although these two different types of utilitarianism can lead to slightly different results when applied in speciic situations, in this text, we will consider these ideas together and not worry about the distinctions between the two. Fundamentally, this type of analysis is just an application of utilitarianism.
In cost—beneit analysis, the costs of a John Stuart Mill, a leading philosopher of utilitarianism. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Only those projects with the highest ratio of beneits to costs will be implemented. This principle is similar to the utilitarian goal of maximizing the overall good. As with utilitarianism, there are pitfalls in the use of cost—beneit analysis.
While it is often easy to predict the costs for most projects, the beneits that are derived from them are often harder to predict and to assign a dollar value to. Once dollar amounts for the costs and beneits are determined, calculating a mathematical ratio may seem very objective and therefore may appear to be the best way to make a decision. For example, from a pure cost—beneit discussion, it might seem that the building of a dam is an excellent idea.
Finally, it is also important to determine whether those who stand to reap the beneits are also those who will pay the costs. It is unfair to place all of the costs on one group while another reaps the beneits. The goal of an ethical analysis is to determine what the ethical path is. The goal of a cost— beneit analysis is to determine the feasibility of a project based on costs. When looking at an ethical problem, the irst step should be to determine what the right course of action is and then factor in the inancial costs in choosing between ethical alternatives.
These theories hold that those actions are good that respect the rights of the individual. Here, good consequences for society as a whole are not the only moral consideration. A major proponent of duty ethics was Immanuel Kant — , who held that moral duties are fundamental. These actions are our duties because they express respect for persons, express an unqualiied regard for autonomous moral agents, and are uni- versal principles [Schinzinger and Martin, ].
Rights ethics was largely formulated by John Locke — , whose state- ment that humans have the right to life, liberty, and property was paraphrased in the Declaration of Independence of the soon-to-be United States of America in Rights ethics holds that people have fundamental rights that other people have a duty to respect.
Duty ethics and rights ethics are really just two different sides of the same coin. Both of these theories achieve the same end: Individual persons must be respected, and actions are ethical that maintain this respect for the individual. In duty ethics, people have duties, an important one of which is to protect the rights of others.
And in rights ethics, people have fundamental rights that others have duties to protect. As with utilitarianism, there are problems with the duty and rights ethics theo- ries that must be considered. First the basic rights of one person or group may conlict with the basic rights of another group. Using our previous example of the building of a dam, people have the right to use their property.
If their land happens to be in the way of a proposed dam, then rights ethics would hold that this property right is paramount and is suf- icient to stop the dam project. However, there is a need for others living in nearby communities to have a reliable water supply and to be safe from continual looding. Whose rights are paramount here? Since the emphasis is on the individual, the good of a single individual can be paramount compared to what is Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher whose work included early formulations of duty ethics. The WIPP case discussed before illustrates this problem.
Certainly, people who live along the route where the radioactive wastes will be trans- ported have the right to live without fear of harm due to accidental spills of hazardous waste. But the nation as a whole will beneit from the safe disposal of these wastes. Rights ethics would come down clearly on the side of the individuals living along the route despite the overall advantage to society.
Already it is clear why we will be considering more than one ethical theory in our discussion of engineering cases. The theories already presented clearly repre- sent different ways of looking at ethical problems and can frequently arrive at differ- ent solutions. Thus, any complete analysis of an ethical problem must incorporate multiple theories if valid conclusions are to be drawn.
Fundamentally, virtue ethics is interested in determining what kind of people we should be. Virtue is often deined as moral distinction and goodness. A virtuous person exhibits good and beneicial qualities. In virtue ethics, actions are considered right if they support good character traits virtues and wrong if they support bad character traits vices [Schinzinger and Martin, ].
Virtue ethics focuses on words such as responsibil- ity, honesty, competence, and loyalty, which are virtues. Other virtues might include trustworthiness, fairness, caring, citizenship, and respect. Vices could include dis- honesty, disloyalty, irresponsibility, or incompetence.
As you can see, virtue ethics is closely tied to personal character. We do good things because we are virtuous people and seek to enhance these character traits in ourselves and in others. In many ways, this theory may seem to be mostly personal ethics and not par- ticularly applicable to engineering or professional ethics. However, personal moral- ity cannot, or at any rate should not, be separated from professional morality.
How can virtue ethics be applied to business and engineering situations? This type of ethical theory is somewhat trickier to apply to the types of problems that we will consider, perhaps because virtue ethics seems less concrete and less susceptible to rigorous analysis and because it is harder to describe nonhuman entities such as a corporation or government in terms of virtue. However, we can use virtue ethics in our engineering career by answering questions such as: Is this action honest? Often, the answer to these questions makes the proper course of action obvious.
To use virtue ethics in an analysis of an ethical problem, you should irst identify the virtues or vices that are applicable to the situation. Then, determine what course of action each of these suggests.
As with any ethical theory, it is important to be careful in applying virtue ethics. Problems can arise with words that on the face seem to be virtues, but can actually lead to vices. Honor may seem like a very positive thing, especially the aspects related to integrity. But the aspects related to pride can often have negative conse- quences.
There are numerous examples in history of wars that have been fought and atrocities committed in order to preserve the honor of an individual or a nation. Individuals have often committed crimes as a way of preserving their honor. In using virtue ethics, it is important to ensure that the traits you identify as virtues are indeed virtuous and will not lead to negative consequences. Chapter 3 Understanding Ethical Problems 45 3. Corporate Morality This is an appropriate place to discuss a tricky issue in engineering ethics: Is there a distinction between the ethics practiced by an individual and the ethics practiced by a corporation?
Put another way, can a corporation be a moral agent as an individual can? This is a question that is central to many discussions of business and engineer- ing ethics. If a corporation has no moral agency, then it cannot be held accountable for its actions, although sometimes individuals within a company can be held accountable. This dilemma comes most sharply into focus in a discussion of virtue ethics. I was a bit of a geek as well. In I moved to study at Auckland University and had an absolute blast. I was fortunate to lecture and tutor undergraduate programs whilst at University.
Teaching reinforced my love of learning and was a fantastic experience. I even considered a career as an academic … but decided I like making money too much. After graduating I secured a job with a multi-national consulting business called Accenture. I moved to Wellington and had a great time with money in hand and no one else to worry about expect the student loan. Plus I got to travel extensively on the company including several trips to the United States. A highlight was being part of the team that built the Department for Courts Fines Collection Computer system.
Four years at Accenture convinced me that working for someone else was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole! I looked around at a bunch of business opportunities and ended up buying a restaurant franchise called Burger Fuel. At that stage Burger Fuel only had four stores and ours was the first outside of Auckland. BUT the process of running Burger Fuel was a brutal introduction to business. One night I had a moment… At the end of a 13 hour shift I slipped on some oil, knocked myself out and broke a couple of ribs. When I got home that night at 2am my wife was feeding our 6 week old son Jack.
Which I did… I put the restaurant under management and sold it 18 months later. Whilst owning Burger Fuel we purchased 3 investment properties. In and the guts dropped out of the property market and like many we got burnt. At one stage we were facing a negative cash flow situation of more than K a year to pay my bills without a viable business to do it! Not a recipe for sleeping well at night. During that time I went to a business coaching seminar looking for inspiration for my business.
Will Smith the actor says there are two keys in life. Two, is reading because you can learn anything you need. The way I look at it you get out of life what you put in. We are put on this earth to be creative and make the most of the capabilities we have… yet my experience is that most Plumbers only scratch the surface of what is possible. Better results always start with bigger thinking! My wife and our three sons are a huge reason why I do what I do.
We have one son who has a life threatening medical condition and that puts. I attended Elstow Primary School and at one stage the school even made it to four teachers! Junior rugby in bare feet on frosty ground and helping on the farm where early highlights. As was calf club which I managed to win three years in a row!
I enjoyed my time at Te Aroha College immensely and got involved in as much as I could. Now with kids of my own I can appreciate how much my parents gave up to make sure I had every opportunity! Rugby, Cricket, Basketball and Debating I was a talker right from the get-go were great fun. I was a bit of a geek as well. In I moved to study at Auckland University and had an absolute blast. I was fortunate to lecture and tutor undergraduate programs whilst at University.
Teaching reinforced my love of learning and was a fantastic experience. I even considered a career as an academic … but decided I like making money too much. After graduating I secured a job with a multi-national consulting business called Accenture. I moved to Wellington and had a great time with money in hand and no one else to worry about expect the student loan. Plus I got to travel extensively on the company including several trips to the United States. A highlight was being part of the team that built the Department for Courts Fines Collection Computer system. Four years at Accenture convinced me that working for someone else was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole!
I looked around at a bunch of business opportunities and ended up buying a restaurant franchise called Burger Fuel. At that stage Burger Fuel only had four stores and ours was the first outside of Auckland. BUT the process of running Burger Fuel was a brutal introduction to business.
One night I had a moment… At the end of a 13 hour shift I slipped on some oil, knocked myself out and broke a couple of ribs. When I got home that night at 2am my wife was feeding our 6 week old son Jack. Which I did… I put the restaurant under management and sold it 18 months later. Whilst owning Burger Fuel we purchased 3 investment properties. In and the guts dropped out of the property market and like many we got burnt. At one stage we were facing a negative cash flow situation of more than K a year to pay my bills without a viable business to do it!
Not a recipe for sleeping well at night. During that time I went to a business coaching seminar looking for inspiration for my business. Will Smith the actor says there are two keys in life.