Meet Tony Powell and The University Review
Imagine you're a new MBA student at Lehigh University. After a little while in your program, you're ready - like any good Internet citizen - to share your experiences with others so that they can make informed choices about their own MBA programs. You look around at the various choices on the Web for sharing your point of view and find, much to your dismay, that none of the existing options resonate with you very well. What to do?
Well, if you're Tony Powell and his buddy Jake, you create your own review site, The University Review. You do this in your spare moments (apparently MBA studies leave you with lots of free time?), tinkering with the database and interface. And, slowly, people begin to find your site and leave their reviews. Excellent!\n
In his book, The Future of the Internet And How to Stop It, Jonathan Zittrain notes that\n
Ideas like free Web-based e-mail, hosting services for personal Web pages, instant messenger software, social networking sites, and well-designed search engines emerged more from individuals or small groups of people wanting to solve their own problems or try something neat than from firms realizing there were profits to be gleaned. (p. 85)
That's why I'm rooting for Tony and Jake. They have a good idea - well-executed - and they're having a blast just goofing around with the site. They're trying to provide a valuable service rather than make a ton of money and they're extremely open to user feedback. For example, I suggested that they include the option to rate universities by program of study. A short while later, the site had incorporated the official United States Department of Education program codes into the university review page. Once the database of user reviews gets big enough, users will be able to search by program (Which Educational Leadership programs get the highest ratings by their own students?).\n
Will Tony, Jake, and The University Review survive the rough-and-tumble world of the Web? Who knows? They've got some stiff competition from sites like Students Review, College Prowler, and College Grader. But their emphasis on good design, their receptivity to user feedback, and their passion for providing value to others make them a pretty decent bet. Mosey on over to Tony and Jake's site and review your own university (Go Tribe!). You'll be glad you did.\n
There's more to the story...\n\n
Apparently Tony and Jake have caught the innovation bug. They're looking for the next great idea and are willing to see if they can create it:
We are really enjoying being in the Ed Tech space. It's a great community, full of wonderful people, and it's a place where we can provide value. Because of that, we'd like to build something else useful for members of this community. In fact, we'd like to continue building tools in this space as long as we can. To that end, I was wondering if you have a 'dream application' or something that's missing from this space, or something that can be improved. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Hopefully we can continue to contribute to the community, and we're looking for the best way to do that.
Got an idea for Tony and Jake? Drop them an e-mail and share your thoughts!\n
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.