I grew up the son of a “Math Guy.” He also liked words. My dad says, “Math makes the world go around and using the right words to tell the story of the numbers is important.” In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms exist that perform calculations, data processing, and automated reasoning.
Who doesn’t like a good algorithm? You know, something that makes a task easy, repeatable and automated? What’s cool is the word is no longer only used in the nerd vernacular, its mainstream now! Millennials know about algorithms….
When I think about algorithms, there are a lot of them in my life. Business or personal related, it doesn’t much matter. If there is something I want to change, I develop an algorithm.
Developing an algorithm can be a simple process. Decide on the problem to be solved, think about steps to a potential solution, run the routine and track results.
Sadly, or perhaps luckily depending on your countenance, this strategy works for anything. The difficulty is that no one really knows the algorithm for so many things.
Lots of people and organizations sell algorithms. Think, dieting, fitness, personal finance, relationships, growing your business and pretty much anything else involving human beings and improvement.
You get algorithms coming at you in so many directions you may feel like a guy trying to finish mowing the lawn in hail storm. (I did that recently and my wife and daughter got a tremendous laugh out of it.)
For me, the key is to develop algorithms in my life that work for me. Not someone else, only me. I listen to others and what they say works for them, but ultimately no one has the same factors going into my personal algorithm as me.
Like so many things in my life, and fractions in mathematics, algorithms are best in simplest form.
Me? I’ll keep searching. with Google. and work to improve my personal algorithms with experimentation and experience. What I’ll stop doing is getting impatient and thinking what someone else has is what I need or the way it must be done.
If you’d like to read a good book about algorithms, get the Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos here.