TIL: Short-form notes, thoughts and observations

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#3   Generalists in a specialised world


I’ve been recently thinking about my career as a generalist - particularly as I struggle coming up with an answer to what my expertise actually is. So, needing a motivational boost, I’ve picked up Range: How generalists triumph in a specialised world, by David Epstein.

What I didn’t expect, was reading Gary Kasparov indirectly talking about what’s increasingly on everyone’s mind - the impact of AI on our day to day life, and particularly, our careers.

Let’s go back in time, when in 1997, Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov in a chess match. The computer would be evaluating two hundred million positions per second, proving to be too much to handle for the grandmaster.

The hypothesis that Kasparov took from the match, was that machines and humans frequently have opposite strengths and weaknesses.

Being able to analyse short combinations and patterns leads to advantage that computers gain thanks to their calculation power and helps them get an immediate edge on the board. It wasn’t the creativity that led to the win, it wasn’t the “bigger picture” skill that grandmasters utilise to manage the little battles to win the game - it was sheer brute force.

What if machines faced of a human who had help of the computer itself?

Fast forward to June 1998 when the first Advanced Chess event was. In this freestyle tournament, teams would be made up of multiple humans and computers.

What happened?

A duo of amateur players with 3 computers destroyed Hydra - the best chess supercomputer at the time. Not only that, they also crushed teams of grandmasters using computers.

If Deep Blue’s victory over Kasparov highlighted the shift in chess power, from humans to computers, the victory of human-computer teams over Hydra symbolized something more interesting, and something very relevant to the times we live in right now.

While not directly addressing my current generalist conundrum, it does lead me to believe that as we see human-computer cooperation becoming increasingly more available, and in many cases see the specialised knowledge being outsourced to machines, it might be generalists and their wide range of interests, skills and non-traditional thinking, who would benefit the most.

#2   How the hell did you get that domain name?


Every month, I share an update about progress and growth on Reddit.

One of the most frequent comments and questions I’m asked, is: “How the hell did you get that domain name?”

While I won’t be sharing the acquisition price at this stage, there is something intriguing about people consistently bringing up the domain.

I’ve been building a portfolio of domains over the last 5 years, as I do believe that they are the key to growing a successful (not just online) business.

There were couple of reasons for going with the exact match .com domain:

  1. Instant credibility - I’ve started talking to some HR departments, and once I introduce myself and what I am operating, they pretty much don’t question my intentions at all.

    This doesn’t just apply to conversations with companies, but also to anyone who comes across the domain - it will help me shape, attract and help the people in the niche.

  2. I’m a firm believer in “Start as you mean to go on” - in this case, fully committing to the project and planning for success.

  3. There’s absolute tons of reasons why this experiment might fail, but the domain is a long term asset in fast growing industry / job role.

At the end of the day, I could question my own decision to purchase the domain - does it make sense to spend a lot of money on a domain for a project that has no revenue?

Personally, I don’t look at it this way. For me, no matter what happens with the site, the domain name will hold value over the long term.

#1   Cool Cats are going dot com


Earlier this week, CoolCats’ director of marketing and strategy Jac (@helloimjac) announced that the blue cat team has secured their brand-matching .com domain name.

Cool Cats acquired .com

The new domain now redirects to the old one, - presumably until they figure out how to move their existing content.

It’s a great acquisition for the team, surely to help them in their efforts to take Cool Cats brand from the trenches of web3, to the general public.