Most Interesting Ideas (this morning)

Productivity

Drawn from a long blog post by Marc Andreessen on the peak age of entrepreneurs, which draws on research done by Dean Simonton, a professor of psychology at UC Davis.  Here are the money quotes for me (from Simonton):

A small percentage of the workers in any given domain is responsible for the bulk of the work. Generally, the top 10% of the most prolific elite can be credited with around 50% of all contributions, whereas the bottom 50% of the least productive workers can claim only 15% of the total work, and the most productive contributor is usually about 100 times more prolific than the least.

and:

Another way of saying the same thing is to note that the “quality ratio,” or the proportion of major products to total output per age unit, tends to fluctuate randomly over the course of any career. The quality ratio neither increases nor decreases with age…

So – if you’re one of those highly productive people – ask for a raise!  And keep plugging away – your best stuff may still be yet to come.

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