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Matthew Fleharty

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About Matthew Fleharty

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  1. @formerfed Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...This forum is supposed to be for the exchange of ideas and effective exchange of ideas in many cases requires us to challenge the ideas others present. If that makes you feel lectured to the point that you just say “I’m done” that’s unfortunate. This is an appeal to an authority which is a logical fallacy - there are plenty of DoD acquisitions that had scrutiny and approval at very high levels that were not sound and did not achieve the desired objectives...
  2. Exactly - that’s a major problem with the way acquisition professionals conduct competitions - instead of focusing evaluation factors on promises and an offeror’s capabilities that are more likely to predict their performance, we instead ask for fluffy narratives called “technical approaches” or “key personnel plans” or “employee management/retention plans” - none of which provide any value other than making the source selection team feel good about their decision because they liked what they read from the offeror. Recommend you read Vern Edwards’ exceptional article “A Primer on Source Selec
  3. (Emphasis added above) - you say “different objectives”...why? To me the objective for both “ventilator challenges” is to get to more ventilators fastest to address the potential shortfall...did I miss something? Everything you detail about “promoting new technologies” vs. “taking pieces of existing, commercial items” are not objectives...those are means to an end (and if the means became the objective during a pandemic then that, to me, is the definition of taking one’s eye off the ball). Anyone have any idea how the Army’s essay writing and public speaking contest turned out?
  4. Different team, different competition with a different rule set - looks like the one you posted @bob7947 focused more on getting prototypes than paper...a lesson for the Army, @formerfed, and @joel hoffman : all “innovative” acquisition strategies/procedures are not equal
  5. My apologies that you felt insulted by my remarks, that was not my intention. I suppose we’re not going to reach a common understanding on this issue - I think the notion of “sparking thinking” is better done by asking for actual results/prototypes rather than ideas in the form of quad charts and pitches. Some doctor was able to do just that with parts from a hardware store ( https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/07/coronavirus-ventilators-mississippi-medical-center-charles-robertson/2966719001/ ) probably for less that $105K too...
  6. @formerfedDo we want ideas in a time like this or actual solutions? The article’s situation and where the Army could end up aren’t too different if you think critically about it - both selection mechanisms were based on proposals/sales pitches and no credibility related to previous experience or demonstration of an actual product. I suppose others share the inability to see the similarity between the two which is way the prize was structured the way it was to ask for quad charts (for $5K) and pitches (for $100K) rather than actual products. Recommend you check out the book “How to Make a
  7. Just thought I’d share an example of my concern with focusing on paper/pitches of possibilities in times like these: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/nyregion/ventilators-fema-coronavirus-cuomo.html
  8. It’s not the amount of money, it’s what companies are getting money for - companies can earn $105K without turning a single wrench or delivering a single piece of product...as John Doerr says “ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”
  9. Did you gentlemen even read the website?: https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/xTech-COVID-19-ventilator-challenge/ Prizes will be offered under 10 USC §2374a (Prize competitions). The total prize pool is $1,000,000.00. Application Part 1: White Paper - $5,000 Application Part 2: Technology Pitches - $100,000 Number of winners is to-be determined, with total prizes not to exceed $1,000,000.00. ----------------- Part 1: Concept Submission Quad Chart and Video All eligible entities shall submit a concept quad chart and accompanying video up to 3 minutes in lengt
  10. Based on my reading of the contest, all the Army is paying for is paper, not product...I think that’s the wrong focus in times like these. Moreover, the selection criteria are suspect IMO - there is nothing that captures a company’s past performance or entrepreneurial experience (which I think is crucial for determining if an entity has any clue for how to turn a concept into a capability). Basically, whoever wows the judges with their pitch gets $105K just to deliver papers and presentations. Using prize competitions could be a step in the right direction, but I think they’re competing the
  11. Even if they do what you want, none of that information is a binding promise so it basically amounts to a sales pitch. I don’t think either of us is going to convince the other of our respective positions - basically, you just want the contractor to tell you things that will make you feel good about your decision which I think is distinctly different than getting information that will help you make a better decision.
  12. Why even evaluate approach as a separate factor when you can get the same information more accurately through a past performance and experience evaluation?
  13. I’m with Don on this one - evaluating an approach or plan (particularly since most of them are not promises) is not only wasted time and effort, it actually introduces noise to the decision making process.
  14. Finally registered and posted.

  15. What is the source for your definition of "stand-alone contract"?
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