Friday, May 20, 2011

Inventing the future

Peter Norvig, the Director of Research at Google, sums up the 10,000-hour (10-year) rule for becoming an expert:

... it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas... The key is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. Then repeat. And repeat again.

Now, if it takes 10 years to become an expert, one of the most important questions a would be expert faces on day one of his or her 10-year term is "In which area should I become an expert, so that my expertise will not get obsolete by the end of the full term?" One way (the best way?) to answer it is to create a new domain of expertise, as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, James Watson, Tom Perkins, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Zack Zuckerberg, and others had done before.

Another question, which arises on or beyond the 10-year expertise boundary, is how to avoid the curse of knowledge, a mindset that locks one's creativity within a set of "expert" assumptions.

tags: creativity, brain, system, mind, philosophy, technology, quote, timing, inertia, psychology

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