Thinks 547

Daniel Gross (in a conversation with Tyler Cowen about their new book, Talent): “I think a lot about this whole idea of gamification. It sounds childish and silly, but if we take that as a given, that there are these pieces of software that people really yearn to use . . . If I told you, in abstract, I have this alien technology, and no drugs are required, but it’s just a thing on your computer, and people really want to use it, and when they’re not using it, they’re just thinking about using it. You’d say, “Well, that’s impossible. You need a drug for that.” And I say, “No, it’s called video games.”…Ask, why isn’t Gmail more fun? Why doesn’t Gmail help you accomplish your goals? Not the simple stupid goals you have for the afternoon of just clear out the inbox, but your actual goals in life. The things you actually want to do. Write a book with Tyler, try to have a little bit more fun in every day. Why isn’t Gmail helping you do that? I think a lot about it. At the end of the day, you might think it comes down to, well, this, that, profit, incentive. A lot of it comes down to talent, and I think game designers are very underrated people in that sense.”

Manish Sabharwal: “In a recent visit to my birthplace of J&K — my first after I got my domicile certificate — an ageing but wise resident suggested the political dynasties of J&K had forgotten the distinction between a jagir (ownership that allows you to do whatever you want) and an amanat (a temporary duty to hand over what you got to the next generation in better condition). He also suggested that nothing can make anybody’s future better than a high-wage job.”

Matt Navarra: “We are all competing for people’s attention and long-form video takes more of your time. Shorter versions give people the ability to snack on content at a faster pace and do more things and see more things and watch more things. Creating longer pieces of video content also takes more time, effort and skill and requires more substantial editing to be done. That might require the use of a desktop computer and specific applications. Whereas with short video, almost anyone can do it…TikTok is clearly the leader of the pack in terms of ease of creation, the reach you can get and general appeal. Facebook-owned Meta tends to not be an innovator anymore, and struggles to understand the zeitgeist. They seem to find it easier to spot what has happened, then quickly jump on it, using their engineering prowess and money to pump out their own version of it, and that formula has worked quite well.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.