What does it take to be an electronic music icon?

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17, and earlier of The Human League, kindly shared his time over lunch recently where we explored how he became an icon of electronic music.

I contacted him as one of my new side projects is managing a fantastic new band, The Vaulted Skies.  I have always been an avid music fan and attended hundreds of gigs, but until recently had little knowledge of the music business and certainly little contact with successful musicians.  So my simple request to Martyn was, what does it take to be a great musician?

Should we be intimidated by increasing IT intellect?

Can the idea of collective intelligence, combining humans with AI, keep humanity ahead of potentially malevolent machines?

Netcel recently held an event at The Royal Institution, attending a fascinating lecture by Geoff Mulgan where he outlined his ideas on Collective Intelligence.  A concept that, he proposes, will keep humanity several steps ahead of the rapidly blossoming intelligence of machines.

Can traders learn from athletes?

Can trader’s learn from athletes? A review of John Coates book “The hour between dog and wolf”

John Coates presents an engaging story of recent financial crashes from the perspective of a group of traders. Within this, he weaves an entertaining account of their biology and how this changes the risks they take. Testosterone and cortisol are the two steroidal stars of the story. Coates links elevated levels of these hormones to the economic boom and bust cycles.  

But I ask how can trader's improve, can they learn from athletes?

Making Mistakes Matters Pt. 4: Mindset and ‘grit’ are a better predictor of success

This is the last of four articles on why we need to change our attitude towards failure. It focuses on the personal characteristics of grit and mindset.  

A characteristic of top performers is something called ‘grit’.  This is defined as someone’s capacity for setting long term challenging goals and sticking to them.

The second characteristic is mindset.  The theory suggests that those with a fixed mindset believe their basic abilities, intelligence and talents, are fixed, inherited characteristics.  They can go up to a limit and no more, so they try to appear clever all the time by never tackling something they might get wrong.  Those with a growth mindset believe their talents can be developed through persistence and see failures as opportunities to learn.

In both cases, long term follow-up studies have shown people with grit or growth mindsets are more successful.

Making mistakes matters part 3: The success of the scientific method

This is the third of four articles on why we need to change our attitude towards failure.  This article focuses on the global impact of the scientific method. I would argue that the scientific method is one of the crowning achievements of mankind. The approach supported by our innate curiosity to understand everything has led to unparalleled progress in countless fields. Historically, when challenge to the status quo is supported and encouraged so is progress. When we haven’t, as during the middle ages, we stall. As technology (built from scientific ideas) has advanced, so has the speed of our progress. Today, new innovations move from concept to mass market adoption in a handful of years.

Making mistakes matters: part 1

This is the first of four articles about how changing our attitude to failure is critical to achieving peak performance.

“Je ne regrette rien” was famously sung by the genius that was Édith Piaf. It shows a great attitude to dealing with whatever life throws at you, something we can all learn from. Why is this important? A common factor amongst top performers is their ability to deal with setbacks and out and out failures.

This first article discusses “flow” a delightful state achieved right on the cusp of success and failure, that is critical to peak performance.