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jerryking : mental_models   5

Abe Ankumah of Nyansa: Are You a ‘First Principle’ Thinker? - The New York Times
Corner Office

We tend to be very “first principle” thinkers. What I mean by that is when you’re trying to solve a problem, you start by trying to understand the essence of the problem, rather than starting with what the answer should be and then working your way to justifying it.

So it’s all about making sure that everyone understands the problem we’re trying to solve. And to do that, you have to maintain a broader perspective and listen very carefully to people.

I have one-on-ones with every single person on the team and then connect the dots. So I ask a lot of questions and build a mental model of the outline of what we need to do.
data  African-Americans  HBS  engineering  Caltech  Ghanian  connecting_the_dots  problem_solving  first_principle  mental_models 
december 2016 by jerryking
The Mind of Marc Andreessen - The New Yorker
MAY 18, 2015 | New Yorker | BY TAD FRIEND.

Doug Leone, one of the leaders of Sequoia Capital, by consensus Silicon Valley’s top firm, said, “The biggest outcomes come when you break your previous mental model. The black-swan events of the past forty years—the PC, the router, the Internet, the iPhone—nobody had theses around those. So what’s useful to us is having Dumbo ears.”* A great V.C. keeps his ears pricked for a disturbing story with the elements of a fairy tale. This tale begins in another age (which happens to be the future), and features a lowborn hero who knows a secret from his hardscrabble experience. The hero encounters royalty (the V.C.s) who test him, and he harnesses magic (technology) to prevail. The tale ends in heaping treasure chests for all, borne home on the unicorn’s back....Marc Andreessen is tomorrow’s advance man, routinely laying out “what will happen in the next ten, twenty, thirty years,” as if he were glancing at his Google calendar. He views his acuity as a matter of careful observation and extrapolation, and often invokes William Gibson’s observation “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”....Andreessen applies a maxim from his friend and intellectual sparring partner Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in LinkedIn and Yelp. When a reputable venture firm leads two consecutive rounds of investment in a company, Andreessen told me, Thiel believes that that is “a screaming buy signal, and the bigger the markup on the last round the more undervalued the company is.” Thiel’s point, which takes a moment to digest, is that, when a company grows extremely rapidly, even its bullish V.C.s, having recently set a relatively low value on the previous round, will be slightly stuck in the past. The faster the growth, the farther behind they’ll be....When a16z began, it didn’t have even an ersatz track record to promote. So Andreessen and Horowitz consulted on tactics with their friend Michael Ovitz, who co-founded the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, in 1974. Ovitz told me that he’d advised them to distinguish themselves by treating the entrepreneur as a client: “Take the long view of your platform, rather than a transactional one. Call everyone a partner, offer services the others don’t, and help people who aren’t your clients. Disrupt to differentiate by becoming a dream-execution machine.”
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  Silicon_Valley  transactional_relationships  venture_capital  vc  Peter_Thiel  long-term  far-sightedness  Sequoia  mindsets  observations  partnerships  listening  insights  Doug_Leone  talent_representation  CAA  mental_models  warning_signs  signals  beforemath  unevenly_distributed  low_value  extrapolations  acuity  professional_service_firms  Michael_Ovitz  execution  William_Gibson 
may 2015 by jerryking
Road to Nowhere - New York Times
January 1, 2008

...And yet as any true conservative can tell you, the sort of rational planning Mitt Romney embodies never works. The world is too complicated and human reason too limited. The PowerPoint mentality always fails to anticipate something. It always yields unintended consequences.

And what Romney failed to anticipate is this: In turning himself into an old-fashioned, orthodox Republican, he has made himself unelectable in the fall. When you look inside his numbers, you see tremendous weaknesses.

For example, Romney is astoundingly unpopular among young voters....But his biggest problem is a failure of imagination [jk: unimaginative]. Market research is a snapshot of the past. With his data-set mentality, Romney has chosen to model himself on a version of Republicanism that is receding into memory. As Walter Mondale was the last gasp of the fading New Deal coalition, Romney has turned himself into the last gasp of the Reagan coalition.

That coalition had its day, but it is shrinking now....The leaders of the Republican coalition know Romney will lose. But some would rather remain in control of a party that loses than lose control of a party that wins. Others haven’t yet suffered the agony of defeat, and so are not yet emotionally ready for the trauma of transformation. Others still simply don’t know which way to turn.

And so the burden of change will be thrust on primary voters over the next few weeks. Romney is a decent man with some good fiscal and economic policies. But in this race, he has run like a manager, not an entrepreneur....
David_Brooks  Mitt_Romney  Campaign_2008  anticipating  unimaginative  unintended_consequences  imagination  Reagan_coalition  rational_irrationality  mental_models  messiness 
june 2012 by jerryking
Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Roger Martin on Assertive Inquiry
12.07.07 | LeadershipNow | Posted by Michael McKinney at
08:38 AM. “When we interact with other people on the basis of a
particular mental model, we usually try to defend that model against any
challenges. Our energy goes into explaining our model to others and
defending it from criticism.

“The antidote to advocacy is inquiry, which produces meaningful
dialogue. When you use assertive inquiry to investigate someone else’s
metal model, you find saliencies that wouldn’t have occurred to you and
causal relationships you didn’t perceive. You may not want to adopt the
mental model as your own, but even the least compelling model can
provide clues to saliencies or causal relationships that will generate a
creative solution.”


* “Could you please help me understand how you came to believe
* “Could you clarify that point for me with an illustration or
* “How does what you are saying overlap, if at all, with what I
Roger_Martin  Rotman  questions  critical_thinking  saliencies  mental_models  ego  humility 
january 2010 by jerryking

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