I’m always really skeptical of personality tests. The Myers-Briggs is super popular, though, so I always thought I knew my type (ESFJ.) Well, today I took another three or four tests and did some reading and thinking, and changed my mind somewhat. The description that fits me best is ENFP.
With a grain of salt, of course.
I’ve been involved in a crazy HONY-inspired project to get a musician a new set of bagpipes. We raised over $1700, and the project is a success. You can read about it here:
I‘ve been thinking about music and music discovery a lot. How do our music tastes make sense? How does liking one song connect to liking another? Pandora is great, but I want to do it differently. I am constantly amazed by the ability music has to make me feel better. Understood. Alive.
I want to share that with everyone.
I’m becoming ever more convinced that we are ultimately judged by the original content we put out.
I had delicious ramen to celebrate an awesome friend Sarah’s belated birthday yesterday, and we had a cool conversation about branding. In particular, I told her I had trouble coming up with my elevator pitch. In part, it’s because I’m not sure exactly what kind of role I want to be in – though I usually say strategy, branding, (ironically enough,) partnerships, or marketing. More than that, though, it’s because I’m having a trouble identifying a pattern in my experience. I’ve been doing music my whole life, but I don’t see myself following the professional musician path. However, co-founding Explorchestra, a composers’ orchestra, is my greatest achievement to date. I studied behavioral economics, love decision making theory and and incentives, and worked in finance out of college. I have a few Java classes under my belt, and am currently studying up on more Java, HTML/CSS, and Ruby. For a while now, I’ve been designing an ultra-slim laptop bag. I go to entrepreneur meetups all the time, and see my path in start-ups, ideally hardware. I’ve been playing around with an Arduino. I currently work in healthcare IT, connecting medical staff with better software.
So what the hell do I say to people when they ask me “what do you do?” Sarah had no trouble summing it up: “you’re an ideas guys. You come up with ideas and you make things.” I like that. I don’t know how it’d fly at parties, but it’s a really good way to sum up my mindset. Thanks, Sarah! I have half a mind to go to some other old friends I have and ask them how they see me. It might be a really useful exercise.
A few hours ago, I went on Amazon to take a quick look at Hillary Clinton’s new book, “Hard Choices.” As usual, the first thing I checked out was the ranking, which surprised me as a meagerly 2.5/5 stars. For comparison, George W Bush’s recent book, “Decision Points,” has garnered 4.5/5 stars, and he was a wildly unpopular president. Nevertheless, I assumed controversial politicians still can write good books, so, my first thought was: “Hillary must have written a very poor biography.”
However, a quick glance at the ranking distribution told me otherwise. Take a look:
I’ve always been interested in review distributions, and am normally vary of 1-star reviews, because from experience, few of them address the quality of the book. In most cases, I”ve noticed that these reviews complain about shipping, processing, Amazon’s customer service, or the author. Continuing to actually read the public response, I found that this is exactly the case here. The majority of 1-star-ers are not not fans of Ms. Clinton, to say the least. Their reviews indicate their opinions of her, not her writing. Here are some examples from the top responses:
We can certainly argue the objectivity of book reviews, and whether the readers’ opinion of the author always impacts their opinion of the book, but I believe this point to be true: you should read the book before reviewing it. On the flip-side, for all my Republican readers (I’m looking at you, Theodore,) the 5-star reviews aren’t much more informed. A lot of people wanted to bash the “right-wing trolls,” but did so while adding 5-star reviews to, I can only assume, bring some balance:
These seemingly-righteous defenders of reading are promoting the same problem: their reviews aren’t based on the writing. The end result? I, a typical consumer, have no idea whether I should read “Hard Choices.” I don’t know if it’s a good book at all. So, what’s the solution – should Amazon be policing reviews? Would it be cost effective to hire people to sift through reviews to see references to the books? Amazon already has a moderation process in place, and each review gets scanned for profanity (I think.) How much more would it cost to find at least one reference to the writing? I know we’re in gray territory here, but these outcries of either disdain or blind support are a problem, because they derail what these reviews should be doing: helping us decide whether to buy the book.