Big Dreams and Audacious Goals Attract Amazing People
In his Big Think Edge interview, Salman Khan discusses the imaginative steps that led him to creating one the world's finest online education platforms
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As a fellow graduate of Harvard Business School, I know Salman Khan is well-versed in turning good ideas into potential business opportunities. When it came to Khan Academy, however, the online education platform offering free lessons in everything from algebra to art history, Khan dreamt bigger.
We know that as a result of a psychological phenomenon called the Einstellung effect, executing a familiar solution blinds us to other, more creative possibilities. But new problems present new opportunities.
Thanks to his training in software development, Khan didn't need to rely on outside talent to begin building prototypes of Khan Academy. And once a basic scaffolding of his vision was created, he credits his longstanding devotion to science fiction as much as his business acumen for allowing him to imagine the possibilities of what Khan Academy might become. He explains in his Edge interview:
"Instead of it just being a one-off collection of videos or a one-off software app that I tried to do as a venture-backed business, maybe [Khan Academy] could be the next Stanford, the next Harvard, this new type of institution that people haven't visualized quite yet, but it could help empower millions or billions of students for the next 500 years.
And as soon as you start thinking on those scales, you go after a bigger problem and you phrase things differently and, frankly, you inspire more people. More amazing people are going to want to be part of that audacious goal."
Young people could even end up less anxiety-ridden, thanks to newfound confidence
- The coronavirus pandemic may have a silver lining: It shows how insanely resourceful kids really are.
- Let Grow, a non-profit promoting independence as a critical part of childhood, ran an "Independence Challenge" essay contest for kids. Here are a few of the amazing essays that came in.
- Download Let Grow's free Independence Kit with ideas for kids.
Researchers in Mexico discover the longest underwater cave system in the world that's full of invaluable artifacts.
Researchers discover a massive ceremonial structure of the ancient Mayans using lasers.
- Archaeologists use laser-based aerial surveys to discover the oldest and largest Mayan structure ever found.
- The 3,000-year-old complex in the Mexican state of Tabasco was likely used as a ceremonial center.
- Researchers think the site showed a communal society rather than one based on worshipping elites.
Technique may enable speedy, on-demand design of softer, safer neural devices.
The brain is one of our most vulnerable organs, as soft as the softest tofu. Brain implants, on the other hand, are typically made from metal and other rigid materials that over time can cause inflammation and the buildup of scar tissue.