Category Archives: expertise

“What bothers me about management books … nobody does it.”

McKinsey ran some interview snippets from Eric Schmidt and there’s a great line early on in the first video. (Videos here, but note you need to be registered (free) and then click on the “Launch the Interactive” button at the bottom, then it’s in the first segment.) He describes some basic Google decisions about hiring […]

It is better not to speak . . .

’nuff said.

Beer Mats, HBR, and a book or two will make you an expert

After my TEDx Kent talk — a delightful romp though kipbot’s pissiness at how kids today don’t respect the amount of craft and expertise needed to do digital — someone recommended I read Rethinking Expertise, by Harry Collins and Robert Evans. Collins and Evans are sociologists at Cardiff University who specialize in the acquisition and […]

Just the right amount of jargon

Mastering the use of jargon increasingly seems to be a key to building strong, creative teams and collaborative environments. In the past, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to stamp jargon out of the language of teams I’ve led. Improperly deployed jargon can often be confusing, obfuscating the real meanings under the word […]

In your bloodstream: Bradybury, Melville, and the 10,000 hours

I continue to be crotchety about generalism and the speed with which people think they can learn to be something (see crotchety posts here, here, and here. Here too. Oh, and here. God, do I ever stop? Well, no, but this one here isn’t grumpy.). Listening to Studio 360’s podcast about Moby-Dick today (while I […]

I Know Kung-Fu: Another Curmudgeonly Grump about Craft

Perhaps is because I’m getting old. Perhaps it’s because, having gone through 2.5 career changes and paid my dues/been schooled 2.5 times. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I found this Zen Habits article about how to become amazingly great at something refreshing. I’ve been to so many places where people are going to “get digital” in […]

Motorcycle Maintenance, Craft, Zen

Many of the times when I’m writing about craft, I’m talking about being close to the work and its intricacies and materials. Last week, I started re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book I last read, appropriately, in 1984 while I was in college. It was a perfect undergrad read: a salad […]

Paul Krugman’s Rules of Research

From his Nobel talk slides: The meaning of the first one was not immediately apparent to me, so I found a longer version of the rules, where Krugman explains: “Pay attention to what intelligent people are saying, even if they do not have your customs or speak your analytical language.” Applies to many, many things.

Post-Deep Blue Pick-Me-Up

Kevin Kelly has an invigorating post about our the inevitable increase in our ignorance. When I saw the title “The Expansion of Ignorance”, I had a curmudgeonly joy at reading about how stupid we’re allowing ourselves to become. Yesterday, I listened to a series of Open Source interviews with Harold Bloom (while playing my Rogue […]

Another Design Piano Lesson

I just put together a series of pretty successful brainstorms — good work, happy designers, lots of deep thinking that is continuing even after the pitch it was for. One of the keys to the success, at least in my mind, was that the brief was (brief and was) presented a day in advance of […]