Tag Archives: Forbes

Is the “Hollywood Model” Really Something New?

There was a great article in the New York Times the other week called: “What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work.” The author uses Hollywood to make the case that this is how work is going to be in the near future for everyone (not in Hollywood):

This approach to business is sometimes called the “Hollywood model.” A project is identified; a team is assembled; it works together for precisely as long as is needed to complete the task; then the team disbands. This short-­term, project-­based business structure is an alternative to the corporate model, in which capital is spent up front to build a business, which then hires workers for long-­term, open-­ended jobs that can last for years, even a lifetime. It’s also distinct from the Uber-­style “gig economy,” which is designed to take care of extremely short-­term tasks, manageable by one person, typically in less than a day.

This method sounds really intelligent in that it would — theoretically — save a business quite a lot of money. However, as I was reading it, two things came to mind. The first: this method also sounds eerily familiar. Remember “SWAT teams” (in business)?

“In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan.

Or what about “Tiger teams?”

A ‘tiger team’ is also a group of experts—specifically a bunch of tech geeks entrusted with curing your computer ills.

While it doesn’t perfectly map onto the Hollywood Model, both of these business “buzzwords” already seem to account for aspects of the Hollywood Model. It may be that the Hollywood Model will become another business fad in the same way that SWAT teams or Tigers teams was/is. Or, maybe the Hollywood Model will have staying power and it will live beyond a fad and become something as normal as the idea as working in a full-time job or a part-time job.

The second thing that came to mind upon reading about the Hollywood Model: Project Management. Granted, the last time I had formal education in PM was almost three years ago, but I don’t remember hearing/reading about this idea of a short-term team. That’s not completely fair. Yes, of course we learned about teams coming together for a short period of time, but it wasn’t written about in the same way that it was in this NYT article. I’d be interested to hear from folks in the PM-academic circles on this.

Wanna Make a Name for Yourself: Answer One of These Questions

In The Guardian today, there’s an article that lists “20 big questions in science.” If you want to be famous (at least in some circles), answer one of the questions. Of course, there are some ‘answers’ to the questions already. Or maybe it’d be more accurate to say that there are some hypotheses or that there is some ‘general knowledge’ in the domain of the question. However, there don’t seem to be any definitive answers, yet.

Here are the questions with a few thoughts after some of them:

1. What is the universe made of?

2. How did life begin?

3. Are we alone in the universe?

If pressed to give an answer on number three, I’d probably say something to the effect of: given how big the universe is, mathematically speaking, isn’t it more likely that there is other life out there somewhere than isn’t?

4. What makes us human?

5. What is consciousness?

On number five, I remember reading a very intriguing article in The Atlantic this past winter that explored the question: what does it mean to be conscious? It approached this question in the context of anesthesia. If this question interests you, this is one way to delve into the topic.

6. Why do we dream?

While there are many theories on why we dream, one of my favorite ways for interpreting dreams is through Jeremy Taylor’s method. This method also outside the context of dreaming.

7. Why is there stuff?

8. Are there other universes?

9. Where do we put all the carbon?

10. How do we get more energy from the sun?

Number ten, while also making you famous, would likely also make you extremely wealthy unless you went the route of Jonas Salk and polio.

11. What’s so weird about prime numbers?

12. How do we beat bacteria?

13. Can computers keep getting faster?

14. Will we ever cure cancer?

15. When can I have a robot butler?

16. What’s at the bottom of the ocean?

On number sixteen: when you realize that 95% of the ocean is unexplored, it sort of gets you curious about what might be down there. More than that, 99% of the Earth is water. There’s a lot we don’t know about the planet we inhabit.

17. What’s at the bottom of a black hole?

18. Can we live for ever?

19. How do we solve the population problem?

20. Is time travel possible?

On number twenty: if this turns out to be true, that would make for some interesting ethical and moral dilemmas.

Should Influential Athletes Be Doing More With Their Celebrity?

released their list of the a few days ago and to my surprise, topped the list. Johnson, a athlete, along with two others from the sport, made the list: and . Admittedly, I’m quite shocked to see so many NASCAR drivers in the . Truth be told, I’m not one who follows NASCAR, but I understand that it has . Given the , I would have assumed athletes from the would have filled the list. As I read the article, it was easier to understand why the lack of big 4 athletes was the case.

The author explains that the list only includes active athletes (so the likes of and other Winter Olympics athletes like and ) have fallen off of the list. More than that, with the decline of and no singular identifiable face of or the , the picture of more NASCAR athletes seems to make sense. Another reason cited by the article is the potential or (in-progress) labor strifes, which understandably, would limit the viewership of certain athletes. Although, I’m still surprised by the total make-up of the list. There were three NASCAR drivers that I already mentioned, four NFL athletes (, , , and ), two NBA players ( and ), and one Olympic Athlete ().

At first blush, Shaq isn’t someone I would expect to see in the top 10, especially so late in his career, but then when I go and look at some of the things that he has done off the court (music, acting, TV, etc.) I’m reminded that he has quite a lot of exposure. Another athlete that surprised me was Troy Polamalu, but I suppose those have really escalated him to a household name. I wouldn’t expect Tim Tebow to be on this list, but I guess with his , that can also be explained.

The most important takeaway from this article for me is the potential for these athletes to really make a difference in the lives of people. Most athletes do some and I think that’s great! With the influential power that the athletes from this list have, I think it’d be pretty cool if one of them decided to do something on the . She was as saying, “As much as I would love to never have to visit Washington, that’s the way to move the ball.” Maybe it’s a little too much to ask athletes to put time and energy into “moving the ball” in Washington.

I understand, from my own brief stint as an NCAA athlete, that to be a professional athlete takes a lot of hard work. Many fans think that athletes just play the game and collect their paycheck. There are hours and hours of work that go into strength & conditioning, not to mention the hours and hours (10,000+ hours?) of work that go into perfecting one’s skills at their given sport. I’m not saying they deserve the money they get for what they do, but I’m also not saying that they don’t deserve that money, either.

Most importantly, I want to make a difference in the world. A very positive and noticeable difference in the world. So, when I see a list like this that come out identifying influential athletes, I can’t help but vicariously live through one of them and imagine the enormous good that I could create.

Note: I couldn’t find a way to access the dataset compiled by E-Poll and Nielsen Media Research that help to populate this list (if you can, please post it in the comments), but it seems to me that they only interviewed American adults. I would say that this contributes to there being very little international flavor on the list with the likes  (or even a famous cricket player like ).