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Having an impact
 

Having an impact

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Talk I gave at the 20 under 20 Summit on 7/14/2012.

Talk I gave at the 20 under 20 Summit on 7/14/2012.

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    Having an impact Having an impact Presentation Transcript

    • Having an Impact http://paulbohm.com/Saturday, July 14, 12
    • In the bookSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Saturday, July 14, 12
    • A magical bookSaturday, July 14, 12
    • the first of its kindSaturday, July 14, 12
    • was madeSaturday, July 14, 12
    • was madeSaturday, July 14, 12
    • to educate a duke’s daughter.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • But through a series of eventsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • was lostSaturday, July 14, 12
    • and foundSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Saturday, July 14, 12
    • by Nell (a peasant girl)Saturday, July 14, 12
    • This bookSaturday, July 14, 12
    • explains the world in storiesSaturday, July 14, 12
    • and when Nell’s life becomes too badSaturday, July 14, 12
    • it urges her to leave on her ownSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And as Nell grows up...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • ...the book...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • keeps teaching her...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • about the human body, ...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • ... turing machines ...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • and other wondrous things.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • And so she became pretty badass.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • And even changed the course of history.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • What made Nell special?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Was it the book?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • It turns out Many rich girls got the same book.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • But they didn’t change the worldSaturday, July 14, 12
    • But they didn’t change the world (not even a little bit)Saturday, July 14, 12
    • So was Nell a genius to begin with?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • So was Nell a genius to begin with? Maybe. But statistically, she likely wouldn’t have had an impact without the book.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • The difference between Nell and the entitled rich girls Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich KidsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • The difference between Nell and the entitled rich girls Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich KidsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • The difference between Nell and the entitled rich girls Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich KidsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Bad NewsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • You’re entitled and everyone tells you you are smartSaturday, July 14, 12
    • You have more resourcesSaturday, July 14, 12
    • and a better networkSaturday, July 14, 12
    • than most people who’ve had an impact in the pastSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Tell someone they are smart & they perform worse.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Praise and Approval are addictive (like candy)Saturday, July 14, 12
    • You already knowSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Grades don’t measure ImpactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And Approval...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • ...even from those that you respectSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Approval doesn’t measure ImpactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • In factSaturday, July 14, 12
    • counterintuitivelySaturday, July 14, 12
    • being persistentSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Saturday, July 14, 12
    • is often easierSaturday, July 14, 12
    • when faced with adversitySaturday, July 14, 12
    • and solitude.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • In fact, many successful writersSaturday, July 14, 12
    • chose not to talk about their work in progressSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Because Praise for unfinished work = candy Which makes them less likely to do a good jobSaturday, July 14, 12
    • ButSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Persistence doesn’t measure Impact eitherSaturday, July 14, 12
    • You still need opportunitySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Nell had an impact, because she could and needed to.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Many ? ? Many don’t have an impact because they can’tSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Many ? ? You ? ? ? What about you?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • YouSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Being hereSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Have the NetworkSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And ResourcesSaturday, July 14, 12
    • To Have An ImpactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Many ? ? You ? ? ? What about you?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Many ? ? You ? ? You have the opportunitySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Many ? ? You ? ? { Your choiceSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Your biggest riskSaturday, July 14, 12
    • is measuring candySaturday, July 14, 12
    • instead of impactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Turns you into...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • A dancing monkeySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Saturday, July 14, 12
    • The problem with being a dancing monkey is...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Even when the audience claps, you’re still a dancing monkey.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Opportunity Need for Approval Need for Impact Nell Rich Kids Many ? ? You ? ?Saturday, July 14, 12 { I realize that knowing...
    • ...that you have opportunitySaturday, July 14, 12
    • creates a lot of pressureSaturday, July 14, 12
    • and expectationsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • = Measuring yourself by other people’s expectations is measuring candySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Your only chance:Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Measure ImpactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • What do I mean with that?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Let me try to explain with a storySaturday, July 14, 12
    • This is my Go boardSaturday, July 14, 12
    • I’ve taught a lot of people to play GoSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And as I saw a lot of people learn Go...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • I started to notice patternsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Some learned faster...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • than others.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • And after a while...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • A pattern emergedSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Those who learned faster...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Focused more on playing... many many gamesSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And less on thinking... (what are you thinking about? you just started learning! play more games!)Saturday, July 14, 12
    • They didn’t care about being original and were willing to imitate better players (imitation is a very effective way to learn!)Saturday, July 14, 12
    • And they played many more games, because losing was ok for themSaturday, July 14, 12
    • That’s a huge deal!Saturday, July 14, 12
    • OTOH I’ve played with peopleSaturday, July 14, 12
    • who no doubt were smartSaturday, July 14, 12
    • That thought about their FIRST MOVE in their FIRST GAME for TWO MINUTES That’s like a lot of the people I talk to, who want to figure out what to do with their life, without doing anything. Iteration is key!Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Their hands were wet and shakingSaturday, July 14, 12
    • That’s what happens when expectations...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • trick you into measuring candySaturday, July 14, 12
    • True: Without opportunity no successSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And part of the reason you have opportunity is because people THINK you are smartSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Sure, play their game.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Have them call you names like “prodigy” “genius” or “visionary” if it helps you succeed.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Use socially constructed reality as a toolSaturday, July 14, 12
    • But don’t start believing it yourself even for a secondSaturday, July 14, 12
    • The moment you stop learning or doing things because they don’t LOOK smart...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • You’re just a dancing monkeySaturday, July 14, 12
    • In fact, I can tell you for sure:Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Somewhere out there...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • is NellSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And she wasn’t invited hereSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And no one thinks she’s smartSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And she doesn’t care if she LOOKSSaturday, July 14, 12
    • like a rhinoceros to youSaturday, July 14, 12
    • ...or that you’re best pals with Peter ThielSaturday, July 14, 12
    • She’ll work her ass offSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And she WILL have an impactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Will you?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • How do you know?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • How can you know?Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Measure your impactSaturday, July 14, 12
    • . Look at progressSaturday, July 14, 12
    • . . Not as a DotSaturday, July 14, 12
    • . . . . . ButSaturday, July 14, 12
    • . . . . . As A LineSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Never trust other people’s opinionsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Stop assuming that anyone else knows what they are doing!Saturday, July 14, 12
    • That’s why measuring the candy doesn’t work!Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Learn about your own biases andSaturday, July 14, 12
    • study rationality in forms likeSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Probability TheorySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Game TheorySaturday, July 14, 12
    • And why people cooperate at allSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Then realize that all decisions that matter are undecidableSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And train your intuition for solving such unsolvable problemsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Maybe With GoSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Or Texas Hold’emSaturday, July 14, 12
    • And thenSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Pick an ambitious goal (you can always change it later)Saturday, July 14, 12
    • When your goal is to colonize mars...Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Or building the nervous system to awaken the slumbering giant and turn humanity into the first superintelligence.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Learning to build rocket enginesSaturday, July 14, 12
    • studying graph theorySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Or building a companySaturday, July 14, 12
    • seem merely like minor distractions required to accomplish a larger plan.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • That plan is for you - not for sharing with others.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • If you told others, and they didn’t think you are crazy, it’s probably not ambitious enough!Saturday, July 14, 12
    • What it is important for, is that you move towards something, and don’t just frantically jump between all interesting fields.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Having and impact might even require years of studying or working on someone elses project to learn.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • But that’s just what I thinkSaturday, July 14, 12
    • You can take an entirely different approach tooSaturday, July 14, 12
    • I don’t know what I’m doing myself.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • We all look towards others to reassure us that what we’re doing is right.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • But since everyone else does the same, there are no real answers.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • I’m not trying to put you down or build you up - I just want to share my belief that I think impact matters more than impressions.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • Unlike most of you I probably would have never made it into the 20-under-20 or even hereSaturday, July 14, 12
    • When I was fourteen, my parents talked me out of going to a technical school because they didn’t think I had what it takesSaturday, July 14, 12
    • I didn’t win any awards, nor scholarships. I dropped out of school before it was cool. And I haven’t had a huge impact yet.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • I have had days where people thought I’m brilliant, and days where people thought I’m an idiot. And it’s all the same. That’s just the candy.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • What matters to me is: Just like Nell, I work my ass off every day, I try to measure my progress, I try not to worry what people think about me too much, and one day I WILL have an impact.Saturday, July 14, 12
    • In SummarySaturday, July 14, 12
    • Measure yourself against your own standardsSaturday, July 14, 12
    • Ignore CandySaturday, July 14, 12
    • And you’ll have an impact!Saturday, July 14, 12