Extending the Peter Principle for General Competence

The Peter Principle is a management concept posited by University of Southern California professor Laurence J. Peter in the late 1960s. The principle states that employees get promoted based on performance in their current roles, rather than on their qualifications relevant to their intended roles. Therefore, employees stop being promoted only when they become ineffective in…

Request for Startup: Machine Vision for Haircuts

I recently got a haircut and one thing I’m always struck by is the inconsistency of quality. Even if I’m going to the same barber or hairdresser for successive haircuts, I still face a risk of getting a subpar haircut. That realization got me to thinking about whether something could be done to fix haircuts.…

Six Links: Contracts, Options, Brevity

I’ve decided to try a new format of blog post today; I wanted to share some of the more interesting things I’ve been reading, emphasizing those that I believe other people are not likely to be reading. In some sense, I’m trying to curate signal in the midst of all of the overwhelming noise in…

Why Escapist Fantasies Are So Compelling

I spent the last month writing a lot about work and careers, and I want to get away from that a bit to better fulfill the promise of this blog: Connecting and condensing the world’s most useful information, not all of which is about careerism, obviously. So today, we’ll discuss why people seek out escapist…

The Easy Way to become an Expert-Generalist

I often think about what skills people need to succeed in their careers. And this generally leads me to inquire whether educational institutions teach their charges the right skillsets in order to prepare them for an increasingly uncertain world. By and large, I think most fail on this count. The average grade school or university…

How Deciders Prevent Dilution of Vision

In June, I wrote about why leaders in many situations would be better off acting as benevolent dictators. I remarked in that post that, “when decisions are made by committee or consensus, debates slow down progress and the vision that drives things forward is diluted by too many voices.” I wanted to flesh this out…

Let’s talk about the Apple Keynote

This is my first Tuesday post ever, deviating from my normal post days of Mondays and Thursdays. I’ve decided to try a variable publishing schedule if I miss one of my regular days but have a good idea later. So here goes! I was deeply underwhelmed by the Apple Keynote this year, and have been…

The Modern Knowledge Worker is a Sprinter

In June of this year, Naval Ravikant (the founder of AngelList) tweeted an interesting insight: “Forty hour workweeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes – train and sprint, then rest and reassess.” That caught my attention because I regularly work anywhere from 45 to 80 hours a week, and…

Seeing the Eclipse in Totality

I’m fortunate that I was able to take some time off work this week to go see the eclipse. Coincidentally, I was helping a friend move down to Atlanta, so we easily drove just over 90 minutes to Clemson to get into the path of totality. Seeing the eclipse in totality was an awe-inspiring experience;…

Role Fulfillment: How We Play Our Parts Socially

I’ve noticed that some bloggers I admire, Fred Wilson and Seth Godin among others, will write very short pieces that elegantly encapsulate a single thought. As I find myself busier and busier, I’ve decided that I’ll try my hand at doing something similar. I don’t want to short-change my readership, so I don’t want to…