Learning… well stuff about anything

Ok been reading way too much about AI lately and helping folks do everything from buy a computer to getting a summer job. Some meta rules. And then some rules.

Metarules

Ok here are some tips. First meta rules (an ode to Zombieland):

  1. Have someone who has done it before. Doesn’t matter if they know 1% more they know 1% more than you. 
  2. Everything is always written down in a book. So first thing is to read the best book on the topic. 
  3. It’s a competitive world so how are you different. Find a category where you can be the best. 
  4. Clone and copy relentlessly. Find something you like and make your stuff look the same. 
  5. Write the few rules down otherwise you will forget! (Hey that’s why this blog exists). 

So here are some real world examples of the “geeks are winning” strategies:

Getting a summer job

So how does this apply to getting say a summer job. 

  1. Figure out who got the job you and go talk with them. It’s incredible how people love to help others if you just ask. 
  2. There quite a few good blogs and Amazon search is a tremendous way to find them. But Sweaty Palms is a great book. And What color is your parachute but in general being interested in something you actually care about is a good thing. Trying to be interested in what you think you should do doesn’t work super well. Passion rules 😉
  3. Differentiation is not about wishing a company would want you, but is about figuring out what a company wants and then well giving it to them. This part is the hardest part but in general having rare skills is way better than being generic. 
  4. Find a resume you like. Make yours looks like it. There’s nothing like practice. Someone always has a better answer for a question. I just loved 100 questions interviewers ask. 

Learning how to build a bicycle

I really did do this a long time ago.

  1. Find a mentor. In this case, I had a good friend who was a major bike hound who told me how to get parts and things
  2. Books. Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance was a god send. It tells you exactly how to do everything to build up an old style bike. This was before the era of custom cranks and so forth
  3. Diffrentiation. Building a K-mart bike doesn’t make much sense, back then though it was all about carbon fiber. So I’m proud to say that 20 years ago, I built from ebay parts and mail order (back when the Euro was cheap), a 12.5 pound bike that was all carbon fiber with carbon-kevlar spokes. Still using it today.
  4. The part build I was after was the Colnago and got pretty close.
  5. See tongfamily.com for this!