My guests today are Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross. Tyler is an economics professor and creator of one of the most popular economics blogs on the internet. Daniel is the founder of start-up accelerator Pioneer, having previously been a director at Apple and a partner at Y Combinator. Both Daniel and Tyler are prolific talent spotters and that is the focus of our discussion and their new book, which is called Talent. Please enjoy this conversation with Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross.
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[00:02:38] - [First question] - Defining what talent is to them writ large
[00:03:34] - The differences between means and ends in regards to talent
[00:04:14] - What the Diet Coke idea is and why it’s relevant
[00:06:32] - Types of energy that are valuable and the subtle differences between them
[00:07:40] - Thoughts on using a moneyball-like approach to acquiring and evaluating talent
[00:11:49] - The talent market and thinking about pricing talent specifically
[00:13:14] - What is seemingly overpriced in today’s talent landscape
[00:15:50] - Relationship between experience and/or age when it comes to talent
[00:20:34] - Lessons about the utility of intelligence and where they’ve lead them wrong
[00:23:35] - What’s beneath being an outsider and why it’s important
[00:24:46] - Why what people do in their downtime is worth considering
[00:28:27] - Whether or not references should be held in higher regard than interviews
[00:31:41] - Things to try and get out of a reference call as an objective
[00:32:40] - Disabilities and what lead them write that chapter specifically
[00:35:01] - Whether or not talented people are happier
[00:38:40] - Lack of contentment and it’s dynamic influence over individuals
[00:41:01] - Where they think the other is most talented
[00:43:33] - Thinking about the physical side of mental performance
[00:45:49] - What was frustrating about writing the book
[00:48:25] - How they evaluate talent most differently now after having finished the book
[00:50:41] - What makes for a good bat signal and how to cast one well
[00:53:27] - Personality inventories and what they would and wouldn’t recommend
[00:54:15] - Geographical frictions and their role in high success rates
[00:56:08] - Antonio Gracias; Existing supply constraints on talent development
[01:00:01] - How they would redesign the current attractors of talent that we rely on today
[01:01:18] - Assembly line development and how we can improve and scale talent filters
[01:02:29] - The biggest open questions for talent today writ large
[01:05:16] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for Tyler