Friday, January 14, 2005

Making Money from Thinking

by Asim Jalis

Nicholas Carr appears to be an example of someone who comes up with ideas, but not with implementations: Max McKeown is another such person. This weekend I spent some time googling Arundhati Roy, who appears to be another example. Here's what I found out. She studied architecture in school, then fell in love, moved to the beach and sold cakes for a few years. To cut to the chase, she largely unnoticed until she started writing controversial articles, in which she attacked members of the Indian establishment. The general idea here seems to be that going against the mainstream and being a passionate trouble-maker can be an effective strategy for getting noticed. Max McKeown also stands out by speaking his mind and feigning a kind of indifference to consequences. He is the kid who cries the emperor has no clothes. For example, his talk at Microsoft was called Why People Hate Microsoft. While almost anyone could have given this talk, no one else did because: (a) they assume Microsoft knows why, or (b) they assume Microsoft would not be interested in finding out why.