Should you trust someone who pitches an idea with confidence?

When somebody pitches a new idea with a lot of confidence, should you trust them?

It depends on where they sit in the hierarchy. In a rigorous new study, managers actually overestimated the value of their own ideas by 42%. Whereas employees underestimated the value of their own ideas by 11%. Managers were overconfident. As they gain power, they privilege their own perspectives. Whereas employees were a little under confident. They said, "Well I don't really know what I'm doing and they second guess themselves." I think that means that managers need to stop falling in love with their own ideas and start listening to the people below them.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to run an innovation tournament - a contest for new ideas. A great example comes from Dow Chemical. They could put out a call for ideas and said we're trying to save energy and reduce waste. We'll take any proposal that costs no more than $200,000 US and it has to be able to pay for itself within a year. Over a decade, they ended up investing in 575 ideas that were submitted into that tournament. And on average they saved the company 110 million U.S. dollars per year. And most of those ideas did not come from people in creative jobs. Often it was an employee on a factory floor who saw something broken and had an idea for how to fix it. But didn't run with it until the tournament was opened. And I think managers ought to run more of those contests.

Technology is changing the way modern geologists locate precious resources and harness energy. With supercomputers capable of processing geophysical data from all over the world, geologists are reconstructing models of the subsoil to identify hydrocarbon deposits. The efficiency of these powerful data processors can scan massive rock formations to help laboratories analyze geological systems. While today's modern geologists still have a compass and hammer to collect samples, petaflops of computing power are changing energy research at lightning speed.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

Are e-Cigs an example of tech gone wrong?


There's a real tradeoff in e-cigarettes. To the extent that people stop smoking regular cigarettes to use e-cigarettes, that's good. To the extent that new people who wouldn't have been smokers, particularly young people, start smoking, that's bad. Now there are real societal problems and health problems and the data show that there are lots of new people starting to smoke. I don't think of it as much as a tech problem though or tech gone wrong as much as a social problem.


Moviepass has shut down. Final thoughts?


Moviepass was this insane business. You pay them ten dollars a month and then they let you see all the 2D movies you want. That was one business plan. They had about 20 business plans. It's kind of just, there lots of tech companies where the business model is: pay us a dollar and we'll pay you two dollars. And then they say to the venture capitalists: "Look we're growing. Give us more money." Of course that's going to run out.


Nostalgia. What's the next old tech about to make a resurgence?


Snapchat. A year ago, it looked like they were poached. That Instagram was just going to knock them out. And now, everybody's using Snapchat again.

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