Experts vs. Generalists

Good morning. Have a quick question for you…If you could pick a message to put on a billboard for millions to see, what would it be? Reply and let me know.

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Here’s what I have to share this week:

  • My podcast interview with Dr. John Torrens is now live everywhere you listen to podcasts. Dr. Torrens is an award-winning Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice and two-time Inc. 5000 entrepreneur with 25 years of experience leading high-growth companies. He’s also a faculty member of the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. But above all, he’s now the author of the book Lightning in a Bottle: How Entrepreneurs Can Harness Their ADHD to Win, where he shares his experience with ADHD as an adult and shines light on both positive and negative effects it can have on starting and growing a company. We cover the commonalities of ADHD among entrepreneurs and how they can manage the downsides of ADHD to use it to their competitive advantage.

🎧Listen here: Apple | Spotify | Anchor | Breaker

Now for the fun stuff. Here’s a weekly collection of things that I’ve been learning from or enjoying recently.

📕What I’ve Been Reading:

Excessive ambition is one of the most common productivity killers. Even with pure intentions, trying to pursue too many directions at once is often detrimental to your overall success. In his book, Hell Yeah or No, Derek Sivers offers a few pieces of advice for tackling this nagging frustration: Take the long view and don’t be a donkey.

📺What I’ve Been Watching:

Despite numerous efforts from Google and Snapchat, no company has been able to craft a desirable pair of AR glasses. Facebook is looking to change that. Last week, they shared a ten-year vision for a pair of “contextually-aware, AI-powered interface for augmented reality (AR) glasses that can use the information you choose to share, to infer what you want to do, when you want to do it.” The first step: wrist-based sensors that let you control devices using the same electrical motor nerve signals you use to move your hands.

🧵Threads & Finds

A Look at Square’s Early Pitch Deck

  • When starting Square, Jack Dorsey knew nothing about finance. During his first pitches to investors, he famously listed 140 reasons why the startup could fail. Now, the company has a market cap of over $100B, making Dorsey one of the few entrepreneurs to lead two publicly traded companies at once.

Becoming a Better Note-Taker

  • Taking notes is a surefire way to advance your writing, memory, and professional performance. Here are ten ways to build an improved note-taking system.

Elon Musk’s Approach to Learning:

“One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”

⛏️The Great Debate

What type of leader is more beneficial to an organization, an expert or a generalist? Someone with deep expertise in one domain or an individual with a strong base of skills in various areas, but not an expert in any? In my opinion, there’s no right answer. It’s situational depending on the industry, life cycle stage, and needs of the company. Even more powerful though is a third option: The T-Shape. The best way to create this knowledge profile is to build your ideas from scratch.

🧰Tool of the Week:

In past editions, I’ve shared multiple apps and extensions to curb unnecessary browser tab clutter. Unbeknownst to most (myself included), Google launched their own fix for this issue in May 2020. Tab Grouping. Right click on any tab in your Chrome browser and select “Add Tab to New Group.” Name your group, continue to organize your tabs, and you’ll get something like this:

But wait, there’s more! If you type “doc.new”, into your browser bar it will automatically open a new Google doc. The same goes for sheets and slides. 🤯

That’s it for this week. I welcome any feedback you have and would appreciate if you clicked one of the links below to let me know how you felt about today’s issue. If you enjoyed it, I encourage you to pass it along to your most curious business minded friends.

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Until next time,

Randy