# How power(law)ful is your job?

A long time back I’d written about how different jobs are sigmoidal to different extents – the most fighter jobs, I’d argued, have linear curves – the amount you achieve is proportional to the amount of effort you put in.

And similarly I’d argued that the studdest jobs have a near vertical line in the middle of the sigmoid – indicating the point when insight happens.

However what I’d ignored while building that model was that different people can have different working styles – some work like Sri Lanka in 1996 – get off to a blazing start and finish most of the work in the first few days.

Others work like Pakistan in 1992 – put ned for most of the time and then suddenly finish the job at the last minute. Assuming a sigmoid does injustice to both these strategies since both these curves cannot easily be described using a sigmoidal function.

So I revise my definition, and in order to do so, I use a concept from the 1992 World Cup – highest scoring overs. Basically take the amount of work you’ve done in each period of time (period can be an hour or day or week or whatever) and sort it in descending order. Take the cumulative sum.

Now make a plot with an index on the X axis and the cumulative sum on the Y axis. The curve will look like that if a Pareto (80-20) distribution. Now you can estimate the power law exponent, and curves that are steeper in the beginning (greater amount of work done in fewer days) will have a lower power law exponent.

And this power law exponent can tell you how stud or fighter the job is – the lower the exponent the more stud the job!!