10 million gallons of gas

If you ran a delivery business, you might intuitively imagine that your delivery route optimization algorithm should optimize for the shortest route to the destination. UPS, however, moved away from trying to find the shortest route. Instead, they avoid turning through oncoming traffic at a junction. This “no left turn” (in countries with right handed […]

Ikea Retail Therapy

Swedish agency Åkestam Holst spent 2016 using Ikea ads to explore family dynamics in all shades. Then, they came up with an ad that was a masterclass in how to rethink advertising. With “Retail Therapy,” Ikea’s website renamed products to match common Google searches in Sweden. Here are a couple of examples – “My daughter […]

Not selling Basecamp by the seat

Basecamp co-founder, David Heinemeir Hansson, had a thoughtful post about why they chose not to sell Basecamp by the seat. The problem with per-seat pricing is that it makes your biggest customers your best customers. With money comes influence, power and pressure. By maintaining a per-company pricing (regardless of size), no one customer’s demands would […]

Mentorship and grit – The 200 words project

Venture capitalist and blogger Tom Tunguz nicely summarized Robert Greene’s book “Mastery” by identifying two common paths to mastery – mentorship and grit. Leonardo da Vinci’s story captures both ideas. Leonardo was born out of wedlock and was prohibited from attending school. His father, a notary, had access to a large supply of paper which […]

Ineffective Lectures – The 200 words project

(continued from parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Anders Ericsson’s research on deliberate practice has been extensively in training elite athletes and musicians. But, what about in universities? Nobel prize winning Physicist Carl Weiman from Stanford university collaborated with a Post Doc and a Graduate student from the University of British Columbia to experiment with […]

The dangers of innate talent – The 200 words project

(continued from parts 1, 2, 3, 4). In the many examples mentioned in past weeks, we’ve seen that “talent” is developed by deliberate practice. If you were wondering if it applied to sports, Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” starts with an interesting insight into how sports talent is picked. Gladwell analyzed data on professional athletes to […]