Talk:Burn Rate

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While this is an interesting financial article, what does it have to do, specifically, with conventions?

This isn't meant to be a financial primer site.

Yes and no. You are right, it isn't a primer site. And yet there will be people who have no clue as to how to make and monitor a good budget. If they have to learn everything the hard way, it makes for a very rocky journey. --Bill Taylor 16:53, 27 March 2007 (PDT)
But "Burn Rate" has almost no meaning in SF conventions as there isn't a chance to go back to shareholders or venture capitalists to get more money in. As a discussion on "Cash Flow" (which is the link I found that brings me here) then that's fine, but introducing jargon from another area that is a poor fit at best is likely to add confusion or cause people to skip past what is actually a potentially useful article, certainly that was my immediate response and while I may or may not be a typical user of this site, I believe that my response is valid. So yes, an article or group of articles on Budget is a great thing, but a discussion on "Burn Rate" as opposed to Cash Flow is esoteric. Of course most of my convention running experience (up to and including committee on several worlcons) has been in the UK and Europe and perhaps the US is more "corporate". But in which case I'd expect if it is more "professional" in the US then the people controlling the finances would have appropriate training and qualifications and as such, this would be teaching them to suck eggs. YMMV :-) --Magician 10:36, 28 March 2007 (BST)
The context of this article is for a department head that has been either handed a budget, or is responsible for creating a reasonable one. Income to the Con would be incidental to that, and for most departments they really don't have an income source, other than from a budget increase from the ConCom. Which assumes the ConCom has set a ddecent reserve (a different article). However, if an article on Cash Flow is needed or would set a better context for anyone that visits, then certainly that would be welcome. Or just expend on this one with additional alternatives. I was trying to keep it simple, on the theory that more experienced people would know this stuff, but maybe that could be reworked. If this is a terminology issue, then I suppose I'd like to see what your view of the world is.
Remember, especially in the area of Finance, the goal is to ensure 1) the Con doesn't do something stupid that will make them go broke, and 2) that if they do, or something just flat goes wrong, that they have time and tools to detect and correct it before disaster strikes. That means refresher articles for old hands that might need tips, and articles for newbies that are trying to start from nothing. --Bill Taylor 07:36, 28 March 2007 (PDT)

If this is a terminology issue, then I suppose I'd like to see what your view of the world is.

I thought I'd already said. My view of the world is that a convention is not a Dot Com business. That terminology that is appropriate to convention runners is good and that terminology that is confusing or from a totally different area, unless it has some large benefit, should be avoided.

Having an article entitled "Burn Rate" is my major problem. No one I've ever worked with on conventions (and I've been going to them for 27 years and working on them for 24) has *ever* used the term "Burn Rate".

But perhaps I didn't understand your question about "I suppose I'd like to see what your view of the world is." can you expand on that?

--Magician 07:53, 28 March 2007 (PDT)

and I hate this commenting system where you have to figure out your own indenting and add colons to do it ... or am I missing something?
Nope, you are using it correctly. If we ever get around to changing the subject, the + symbol near the edit button at the top helps you add a new title heading.
What I meant in the main was, What set of articles and what organization among them would you like to see? It seems to me a set of finance articles ought to tell people how to take monies in, how to save it safely, how to spend it without going wild, and how to retain some for next time. Burn Rate is just one article. If there is a better way to convey the information, then we should do that. If you think it isn't valuable to say it, then I dispute that. --Bill Taylor 08:05, 28 March 2007 (PDT)
If you think it isn't valuable to say it, then I dispute that.
as it is clear you are not actually reading my replies, I'm not sure it's worth commenting further. I have said at least twice above that an article on Cash Flow is a good thing, but that an article called "Burn Rate" is badly titled. Sheesh. I give up.
--Magician 08:56, 28 March 2007 (PDT)
Then create an article on Cash Flow and link to it. --Bill Taylor 09:09, 28 March 2007 (PDT)

Just to reiterate "Sheesh. I give up."

If it's too much hassle to do things with this wiki, I'll go back and update the articles on SMOF.COM and EASTERCON.ORG and submit things to the dozens of other sites that have convention running articles on them. If it's not fun here, then I don't need to be here.


I agree with Magician: This article is likely to lead the novice treasurer into a false complacency. The timing of expenses is mostly not a useful metric for convention treasuries, and to the extent that it *is* useful it is only useful as a metric of how well the departments are staying on schedule. A treasurer who sees $90 in expenses six months out against $100 in budget for that month knows nothing; the question is which expenses does that represent and are they complete or not.

Furthermore, my experience with actual conventions ranging in size from 50 to 5000 is that cash flow in the leadup to the convention is almost never actually an issue. Even if the con loses money, cash flow will be good until about 30 days after the event.

I nominate this page for removal on the grounds that it is likely to lead new conrunners astray.

--phi 08:35, 29 March 2007 (PDT)

We still need a better article with more useful information. If you are saying this one is actually bad and damaging, that is one thing. I don't see how encouraging an advance plan and sticking to it is bad, but OK lets discuss that. But an improved article, or a different article with better information, is what we really need.
And as for "knows nothing", I would say that is not exactly true. Ideally the Treasurer knows what the budget numbers represent. A Treasurer doesn't just write checks in a total vacuum. It isn't just a $90 expense. It is $90 for item X in Department Y (which they said they needed back at budget time). It is up to the Department to see they are getting enough of what they actually need to do the job. A Treasurer can see that a deposit for a Keg of Beer is not the same as a deposit for a lighting rig. But the Treasurer can't tell if a 30ft light truss with Genie Lifts is better or worse than a 20ft self-supporting lighting arch.
In any case, if this article, or any other one in the Finance category, or anything anywhere else needs improvement, then please add in what it necessary. --Bill Taylor 11:28, 30 March 2007 (PDT)