Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Maximizing Your Ability to Learn

Back in August, Adam Rasheed, a propulsion specialist from GE’s Global Research Center came down and spent a week with us. Anyway, he’s just posted some of his observations which I thought I’d share:

One thing is that a lot of the folks I met are involved in something based off the internet, and their medium is information. This is pretty fascinating environment. Because the “barrier to entry” is so low, it’s relatively easy to very quickly try many different things on the web – and just see which one sticks. And that appears to be one of the keys to coming up with ideas… many cheap and quick iterations to maximize your ability to learn. I am trying to figure out how to apply this to my world, where it simply isn’t practical to build 10 different designs for a jet engine (at billions of dollars and many years of development) – and then take the best one – we’d go out of business! But it is something we can do on a smaller scale in the lab.

It’s always interesting to hear how someone from a totally different headspace interprets and tries to adapt thinking from the world many of us live in. Frankly, it’s also interesting to see the things Adam chose to focus on (knowing that we talked about lots of stuff).

September 21, 2009