Team Greatness

I recently posted a new essay on team greatness:

Something is known about how people become individually great. Richard Hamming gave a famous talk on that subject, You and Your Research. While his talk was about the problem of individual greatness, he acknowledged that groups or teams have the potential to become great also. This essay is about how to reliably produce great teams.

Before we dive in, let’s talk about why reliably producing great teams is important. I will mention some problems in the world that are important to solve: ecological devastation, poverty, war, disease, and the meta-problem: the survival of our species. Just working harder is not going to solve these problems – people have been doing that for thousands of years without success.

If you look at the most difficult problems facing humanity, I think it is self-evident that if we would have an abundant number of geniuses working on these problems, they could be solved. If you study the work of applied genius throughout history, you can see this is true.

So why haven’t all the problems been solved already? This is the Problem of Problems.

Read more here: Solving the Problem of Problems.

One Response to “Team Greatness”

  1. I do not agree with the assertion “I think it is self-evident that if there were an abundant number of geniuses working on these problems, they could be solved.”

    I do’t believe there is any evidence that large problems are amenable to solution by humans. It seems arrogant to assume otherwise.

    This isn’t playing with simple semantics.
    1. Solutions can only be meaningful within realistic constrainst and bounds.
    Their may be no solutions within those constraints or bounds, no matter how many geniuses are working on the problem. I think this is self evident.
    2. The solutions to the problems may consume more resources than the Earth has or that we can accumulate, so it doesn’t matter how smart we are. I think this is also self evident.

    Of course, none of that means we shouldn’t try to improve life for everyone.

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