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I’ve been noticing that there are questions lately about what caused the Great Depression and whether we’re at risk of something similar in 2020. The short answer is: No, I don’t think we’re at risk of another Great Depression. For context, I asked this exact same question in October 2008 at the start of the [...]

In the United States, there’s a big debate going on right now. Epidemiologists urge physical distancing as the best way to avoid catastrophic loss of lives. Economists point out that the cost of shutting down the economy is unprecedented and is heading toward catastrophic economic collapse (which also has enormous human costs). So, who is [...]

Several years ago, I took a class on how to write movie scripts. The world-renown instructor’s students included many famous Hollywood actors (who wanted to learn to write or recognize great scripts), 50 Oscar winners, and 250 Emmy winners. One of the big takeaways from the class was how to create drama. And the easiest [...]

I first heard Warren Buffet speak in person 20 years ago. He had a standard speech he would give on how to be successful in business. I’ll never forget what he said he looked for when hiring an executive to run one of his many businesses. “You want to hire someone that’s honest, smart, and [...]

Background: By day, I write and teach my students on CaseInterview.com about how to have a successful career. By night, I volunteer with my county as an emergency worker, search & rescue team member, and emergency medical responder. Much of my training is in mass casualty incidents. Under normal circumstances, medical care in the United [...]

When you’re faced with two options where you know that one option will be good and the other bad, it’s useful to take the time to analyze and determine which one is which. However, many times in your life and career, you’ll face options that are far more ambiguous. Sometimes, the information you’d like to [...]

When you’re trying to explain a complex idea to someone, it’s extremely helpful to explain your new idea using terms, concepts, or ideas that the other person already understands. For example, if you’re talking to a seasoned finance professional, you can use terms like “EBITDA” and “valuation multiples” and they’ll understand them. However, if you’re [...]

When most people think of power, they think of the person in the conference room with the most authority. Formal authority comes from decision-making power and control over resources. If you’re a member of the board, you have power because you must approve my operating budget for the fiscal year. If you are my boss, [...]

In life and work, there are two ways to approach a problem. You can talk about a problem, or you can solve the problem. The problem talker spends all of his time complaining about the problem. “Boss, this budgeting process is so inefficient and a waste of time.” “The way we orient new employees to [...]

When I was at Stanford, I took a class on social hierarchies. I remember thinking it was fascinating how social hierarchies influence perceptions of self and others. At the time, I had very little experience with social hierarchies outside of the academic arena. In high school, seniors (fourth-years) were revered and freshman (first-years) were lucky [...]

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