[CREATE] Decision for LGM 2011 venue — Action required

Yuval Levy create07 at sfina.com
Sat Jul 3 12:06:19 PDT 2010

> 2010/6/28 Yuval Levy <create07 at sfina.com>
>> "Distance cost" is IMHO the most significant factor in the decision.

let me rephrase this one: it's the most significant *cost* factor. 
*Benefit* factors are more important.  Our team's center of gravity is
Europe, nevertheless we had a much bigger presence in Montreal 2009 than
in Bruxelles 2010, because of the benefits (more on this in a later mail).

>> A quant model can abstract and do away much of the subjectivity.
> This is the purpose of the "TIME" and "MONEY" guidelines.

not good enough, sorry.  For numbers to be comparable in a quant model,
the three bids should provide comparable, exact numbers.  E.g. the ones
about expedia travels that you forward me off-list.

>> all expressed in a single currency to be comparable. USD.
> This was understood but should maybe put in a more explict wording? What
> would you suggest?

* a template to be filled by every bidding team.
* a clear specification of the hotel standard for the bid.  individual
travelers can choose to go cheaper or more luxurious, all at their own
expense, but for comparison purpose it has to be a standard acceptable to
most of us (as an example, I should not be left guessing whether I will be
OK with a 15$/night hotel in Vietnam or if after the first night I will
run to "district 1" hoping here is still place in the 100$/night hotel).
* a clear specification of the local transportation standard for the bid. 
again, individuals may fine-tune to their preferences, but for
costing/budgeting purpose it should be comparable.
* distance (time) between lodging and conference venue.
* ...

> And the of travel expressed in the time "currency": HOURS!

YES, this is the most important input of them all.

>> I want this summarized into a single number per region of origin.

>> Of course we need to set a global standard, a minimum of what we would
>> expect.
> Again, yes. Exactly. This, by the way, is true for any venue.

Indeed, true for any venue.  Vietnam has the disadvantage here of spear
heading us into unchartered territory.  All of my critique of their
proposal is not to be seen as a critique of the venue (which I find quite
enticing), but of the input to my decision making process.  I feel like I
am expected to evaluate local information without knowing the local
circumstances.  I rather trust the local team to make that evaluation for
me (i.e.: would you put us in the 15$/night hotel or in the 100$/night
hotel?) so that my decision is limited to choosing between comparable
numbers for the three bids.

>> I would like to add a weighting factor to the math:
>> *distance-inconvenience*. Bear with me and the explanation will follow
>> below.
> While the following is very interesting (I followed you until the end!),
> can we keep that under the umbrella of the personnal and team
> appreciation and gather those responses and then see who’s making it,
> who’s not and decide from there if the LGM can or cannot take place ?

Thank you for following to the end :)

> If the majority of the developers are not able or not willing to go

have you considered that there might be other factors than just geography,
time, money determining if the developers will show up or not at a

we're talking here hygiene factors or cost factors.  How about motivators?
Ale's comment about reinventing the wheel are very pertinent here.

>> Having a quant model for this part of the decision takes some
>> subjectivity
>> away and enables us to consciously minimize total travel impact while
>> dispersing cost as fairly as possible over the different regions of the
>> world.
> Well, that is exactly the reason for the guidelines.
>> Still, softer, subjective factors remain to consider, such as the
>> definition of standards for travel, lodging, food, local transportation.
> This is up to each person to decide, isn’t it?

I don't think so.  If I was to travel to any exotic / unknown location, I
would rely on the advice of a travel agent rather than deciding myself.

The standard should be a collective decision and bids should take the
collective standard into account.  Individuals can fine-tune based on
their preferences and additional information.  I expect the bid to tell me
the price for a hotel according to the same standard as the other bids;
and the same standard that is acceptable to the vast majority of us. 
Extra information about alternatives is nice to have and for the
individual person to decide.

> But then again, keeping in mind the fact that we want to have a low number
> of guidelines but they must be as significant and as helpful as possible,
> how would you phrase this?

If you say "three stars hotel", there is an associated standard to that in
the Western world.  Without intention to offend anybody, how about
phrasing it as:  "please enter the price per night, double occupancy, of a
room at a hotel equivalent to a three stars hotel in the developed world".


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