March 11, 2019 § 1 Comment
Quantum Philosophy and the End of Education, by Roo Pavan (self-published)
April 1st, 2019
This self-published book by a retired physicist turned tech millionaire has taken the education establishment by storm — and not in a good way. Few people had even heard of this book or its author, Roo Pavan, until President Trump mentioned it approvingly in a tweet. It is doubtful whether our Esteemed Leader actually read the book, but that didn’t stop him from claiming he would use it as the blueprint for education policy in his second term. Like most of the book’s critics, he probably only read the sensationalist claims in the final chapter rather than the surprisingly thoughtful analysis that preceded it.
Which is a shame, because that would have been a conversation worth having. The author’s main thesis is contrarian but hardly new: that Western philosophy in general — and higher education in particular — are more about perpetuating a cultural elite than actually pursuing truth and serving society, though he concedes that those have often been a useful byproduct.
April 8, 2017 § Leave a comment
Most successful startups require both a technical “hacker” and a relational “hustler” to bring them to life. One common pattern is that a “hustler” has access to ideas and potential funding and looks for a “technical co-founder” to join him or her, through a process often compared to finding a spouse.
November 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
Agile is a meaningless buzzword for many because it is perceived as an answer in search of a question. Too often, Agile is “cargo-culted” into an organization as an imposed process without first developing a deep understanding of what problems need to be solved. True progress only happens when the solution is aligned with the problems people actually care about.
To make that happen, we need to take our organizations though a therapeutic process of surfacing and dealing with the hidden pains and frustrations than prevent top performance. The good news is that we could use the same principles of agile to get us there.
- Agree on a Vision
- Define a Deliverable
- Commit to a Process
February 24, 2015 § 5 Comments
February 6, 2015 § 7 Comments
In our first installment of my series on Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC), we talked about how platforms enable us to tackle problems and markets too big for any one entity to manage directly. Because of that, though, it is much harder to create a successful platform than it is to create a successful program. In this installment, we will talk about how to do that.
Characteristics of a Platform
The first thing to realize is that every platform is characterized by three distinct but interrelated factors:
- Policy (governance)
- Incentives (business)
- Infrastructure (engineering)
The health of a platform is determined by how well these three factors support each other and the overall purpose of the platform.
This has two interesting implications:
- Every complex human system (states, markets, corporations, etc.) can be considered a platform
- The reason most platforms fail is that “wonks, suits, and geeks” only worry about their layer of the platform (politics, economics, or technology, respectively) and tend to despise or ignore the others
February 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
- Feel Concern
- Frame Question
- Find Authority
- Interpret Answer
- Implement Solution
Back up as needed and repeat until concern is fully addressing.
June 1, 2012 § 1 Comment
Andrew Dunn from Insight Labs recently posted a call for metaphors about Iterating imagination:
Creativity. Structure. The two are normally thought to be at odds. But for a large organization to produce imaginative results again and again, it must have a structure that anticipates reinvention.
He listed four models they came up with:
- Church and State: these two ways of thinking access different parts of the brain and people with radically different skill sets
- Turn! Turn! Turn!: The relationship between reinvention and maximization is a natural cycle
- Planned Obsolescence: after a set period, switch to reinvention mode and rebuild the strategy
- The Star Within a Star: the overall system is built in a way to blow things up again and again