Philosophizing

In Defense of Being Prolific

This morning, I came across a songbook of the compositions of the Beatles over a two-year period in the 1960s. Flipping through the pages, I was surprised to see two things. First, they wrote tons of songs. Second, I was amazed at how many mediocre songs Lennon and McCartney actually wrote over that time. Here was the most celebrated songwriting team of the twentieth century and they had a success rate of 5% or so. What? I think many of us expect our success rate to be high or we're…

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Central Texas Winning the Amazon Sweepstakes

The Amazon HQ2 RFP announcement swept through the news in the past few weeks. https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17044620011 Many pundits put the Texas cities well behind other candidates. This New York Times piece has Denver as a clear favorite: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/upshot/where-should-amazon-new-headquarters-be.html?mcubz=1 As much as I love my hometown and state, San Antonio is at best a long shot candidate. Austin, just down the road, has better chances given the recent Whole Food acquisition…

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9/11

I think every generation has a couple of moments that really stick. For me, there are two: 1) The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. I was 11. We watched it live in our classrooms. I still remember the CRT TV on that big, tall stand they'd wheel into the rooms. You know, the kind with the strap that held the TV down? 2) 9/11. I was 26 and living in San Francisco. One of my co-workers, Ed Felt, was on United Flight 93. He was one of the…

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On Selecting a College

The optimal strategy for college selection is to choose the most selective school with the best brand name possible. I wish it weren't this way, but often the world doesn't work as we'd want it. Last week, I spoke to a friend pursuing an undergraduate degree. He complained about many of his peers at his college slowed down his education. They couldn't grasp topics that were easy to him. This friend is attending a school that isn't highly-regarded. Many hiring managers I know discount graduates from this school. It has…

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College Isn't Going Anywhere.

Many have been predicting the disruption of college for several years now. It's not happening. They dream of new models and think they can displace colleges. These attempts miss much of what they actually do. It's more complicated than knowledge. Colleges do three things: Educate - learn things (including how to think and problem solve). Socialization - learn how to play well with others and build a network Filter - provide a "brand" that signals aptitude to the world New models of online education can do the education part. That's…

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