I’ve written and re-written this intro to Tyler Cowen and scrapped most of it because the guy does too many notable things. The short version is that he teaches economics at George Mason, runs the famed economics blog Marginal Revolution, and happens to be a successful author in his spare time.
This latest book of his comes with a twist: Cowen wrote Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World with his good friend, Venture Capital savant Daniel Gross. So, the work is partially a field guide to succeeding in business on the basis of hiring, and also partially an endearing tale of intellectual friendship.
Personally, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book, due to its counterintuitive insights, slightly more intuitive confirmations of my suspicions on certain matters, and, yes, overlap with the NBA world. In our discussion of Talent, plus related topics, I was repeatedly taken aback at how quickly Tyler arrives at nuanced conclusions. Along with everything else, the man’s a great conversationalist.
Topics on this podcast include:
Why did Tyler write so much about sports in a book that was mostly anchored in the business world?
Is there a way to improve at writing?
Is there a way to anticipate a paradigm shifting talent like a Kevin Durant or Steph Curry?
Why email response time is such a huge indicator of top tier talent
How ambitious are you?
What’s up with NBA defensive superstars being hard drinking maniacs?
Yugoslavia as NBA talent river versus China as NBA talent desert
The power of high draft pick incumbency
On Draymond Green being a great role player vs. Russell Westbrook being a terrible superstar
The feedback to Tyler’s viral piece, Classical liberalism vs. The New Right