Category Archives: Learning

Solving the Parking Lot Puzzle

Source: CNN, Mar 2016


The Most Successful Teams

Source: HBR, Apr 2018

In the Generative quadrant, we find behaviors associated with learning, experimenting, and confidence. Together they facilitate high quality interaction. Interestingly, “forceful” appears here too, which at a first glance might seem surprising. Exploring this further, participants were identifying the assertive expression and vigorous analysis of ideas. “Forceful” therefore relates to having the confidence to persist in expressing what you think is important.

Psychologically safe environments enable this kind of candour without it being perceived as aggressive. Note that we also see more positive emotions in the generative and uniform quadrants.

Tim O’Reilly: What’s the Future? (WTF)

Source:, Mar 2018

Yahoo – Internet Icon

Source: Fast Company, Mar 2018

Before Google or Facebook, Yahoo was the king of the internet.




In 1998, Yahoo had a chance to license an innovative new search technology created by a pair of Stanford grad students for $1 million. Instead, David Filo convinced Sergey Brin and Larry Page to strike out on their own, and introduced them to one of Google’s earliest investors, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital.

As Ring writes, “That $1 million price tag was probably the best deal offered in the history of Silicon Valley, California, the United States, planet Earth, and the Milky Way Galaxy.”

In 2002, Yahoo had a second chance to buy Google. This time, CEO Terry Semel offered $3 billion for the company; Page and Brin turned him down, reportedly holding out for $5 billion.

But even that’s not Yahoo’s most famous missed opportunity. That came in July 2006, when Yahoo tried to buy Facebook, then a college-oriented network with roughly 7 million members, for $1.1 billion. Internet lore has Mark Zuckerberg walking away from the deal when Semel cut the offer to $800 million after a drop in Yahoo’s share price. According to Peter Thiel, one of three members on Facebook’s board at the time, Zuckerberg never seriously considered selling.


Everyone has a different theory as to why Yahoo failed, and to some degree they’re all probably right.

Ring says Yahoo’s biggest mistake was not allowing paid search ads to coexist with organic search results. For the first years of its existence, search results were considered editorial content, not to be sullied or diluted by advertising. By the time Yahoo realized its mistake–and acquired Overture, the company that invented paid search advertising, for $1.6 billion in 2003–Google was already steaming ahead.

Instead of fine-tuning Overture to compete with Google’s more sophisticated system, Yahoo decided to build its own advertising platform mostly from scratch, says Flake, who came to Yahoo as part of the Overture acquisition. Code-named Project Panama, the new platform took nearly three years to complete. By then, the search wars were over; Google had won.

Risk vis-a-vis Uncertainty

Source: InfoProc, Mar 2018

Competence, Intuition …

Luck Matters!

Source: Scientific American, Mar 2018

While I have found that a certain number of traits— including passion, perseverance, imagination, intellectual curiosity, and openness to experience– do significantly explain differences in success, I am often intrigued by just how much of the variance is often left unexplained.

In recent years, a number of studies and books–including those by risk analyst Nassim Taleb, investment strategist Michael Mauboussin, and economist Robert Frank— have suggested that luck and opportunity may play a far greater role than we ever realized, across a number of fields, including financial trading, business, sports, art, music, literature, and science. 

some recent findings:

In the final outcome of the 40-year simulation, while talent was normally distributed, success was not. The 20 most successful individuals held 44% of the total amount of success, while almost half of the population remained under 10 units of success (which was the initial starting condition). 

the most talented individuals were rarely the most successful. In general, mediocre-but-lucky people were much more successful than more-talented-but-unlucky individuals. The most successful agents tended to be those who were only slightly above average in talent but with a lot of luck in their lives.

You cannot be a good person until you recognize the evil that is contained within you

Jordan Peterson:

You cannot be a good person until you recognize the evil that is contained within you