It’s been widely linked, but I just watched Malcolm Gladwell’s recent talk about genius and it’s super-interesting. Quote:
Modern problems require quantity over quality. You’re better off with a large numbers of smart guys than a small number of geniuses.
Gladwell talks at length about Andrew Wiles, the mathematician who solved Fermat’s Last Theorem. He didn’t really do it alone, though, and he didn’t do it quickly: In fact he literally sat down with the problem for like seven years straight.
I’m fairly enamored of this very specific, very determined identification of My Problem to Solve. It seems like Larry Lessig is doing something similar with the problem of corruption. It’s like: “This is my new thing. I’m going to study up, apply myself, and figure it out. Oh by the way, I expect it to take ten years.” Very cool.