Monday, July 1, 2024

Gen Z's Wikipedia

The Economist recently had an interesting article about a site called Famous Birthdays. They called it "Gen Z's Wikipedia." The founder found a niche in that, besides just listing conventional celebrities, the site lists influencers.

It's success shows how the nature of fame is no splintered. In fact, marketers are now using this site as a tool to identify influencers for ad campaigns.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Scary News About China and AI

This is one of the scariest things I've read recently (June 15, 2024 Economist):

"At the start of 2023 experts reckoned that the Chinese LLMs that did exist were a decade behind the American cutting edge. Now the same experts reckon that the transpacific model gap has shrunk to a year or less."

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Strategic Simplicity® is the Key to Business Success

As I've said before, we are in the Attention Scarcity Age and the key to business success today is streamlining the customer experience, and making it very quick and easy for people to accomplish tasks.

It's the secret to Uber, AirBNB, take out services, and AI.

The Lefsetz Letter touches on this while talking about how the best non-blockbuster/superhero  movies are 
now appearing on Netflix (, bolding is mine:

"On Netflix, to paraphrase Mick Jagger, it’s just a click away.

There’s too much friction in going to the movies. You’ve got to look up the time, get in your car, park, pay, sit through a zillion trailers, and maybe commercials, and endure the great unwashed populace.

But on Netflix… It’s on demand, ready when you are. To watch straight through, to pause, to see again and again.

This is the modern paradigm. He with the most friction loses. Didn’t the music business prove this?"

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Friday, June 7, 2024

Interesting Connection 2

Elon Musk launched a new AI company (xAI - he's fascinated by the letter X), and it raised a lot of money in a short time.  Why?

Because he also owns Tesla and X (nee Twitter), which gives his AI models a big advantage in training data (tweets, file from Tesla cameras, etc).
© 2024 Praveen Puri

Interesting Connection 1

Did you now that, outside the main bull fighting stadium in Madrid, there is a statue dedicated to Alexander Fleming?

Why?  His invention of penicillin saved countless bullfighters.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Mythical Man-Month

When a project is falling behind, beware the seductive idea of simply increasing manpower. Adding bodies doesn't scale for knowledge workers.

hashta work.
For example,

Adding more farm workers to pick wheat is productive because the work can be divided and they don't have to communicate with each other.

Adding more hashtagprogrammers to a project falling behind does not increase hashtagproductivity because they have to communicate / coordinate / share constraints.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Three Ways to Be An Innovative Leader in Your Field

1. You have to learn, learn, learn. If you don't have the passion to read and learn outside of work, you should find another field because you won't be an innovative leader. Also, learn in adjacent areas. for example, if your field is healthcare, also learn and be curious in technology and consumer care.

2. Use data. You don't have to be a data scientist. You can work with programmers and data experts, who can help you put together the queries. The main skills you need is the ability to think up the queries by thinking about cause, effect, and relationships between measures, and testing your hypothesis.

3. Set both clear (in pen) and "in pencil" goals. For example, if you're in health care, set the clear goal of identifying a way to kill a certain cancer cell. But, then you want to set an "in pencil" sub-goal, such as can substance X affect the cancer cell.  Because, then you want to test this hypothesis, and either pursue it further or quickly discard it (fail fast). "in pencil" means don't be wedded to it, and be willing to pivot based on the evidence.

© 2024 Praveen Puri