Month: April 2009

Abraham Lincoln, Deep Practicing Guy

Decoding Funtwo (Guitar Superhero)

Here’s Funtwo (real name Jeong-Hyun Lim), the 25-year-old South Korean guitar virtuoso whose version of Pachelbel’s Canon has been viewed 58 million times on YouTube.
I love this video for two reasons: 1) it rocks; 2)  the mindset behind it. You would assume that Funtwo – whose playing has been compared to Hendrix and Django Reinhardt—would …

Decoding Danny MacAskill (Biker)

Meet 23-year-old Danny MacAskill of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is, as one commentator put it, ridonkulously talented. The sheer creativity is off the charts. (Who else would do the ride-atop-the-spiky fence thing?)
What’s cooler is to think about how MacAskill built those circuits.  
We’re seeing the result of 12 years of hard, deep practice (see this BBC …

Voice of an Angel

Good article here from the Sunday Times that gives some useful background on the world’s newest and greatest talent discovery. The takeaway: Susan Boyle has been singing a loo-oong time, and has worked extremely hard to develop her voice (see this article for more on that). I was really interested in the part where her …


A spinoff from a textile firm that has evolved into the largest, most successful car company in the world. Toyota is built on the principles of kaizen, which means “continuous improvement”-and which is a synonym for deep practice. Like any talent hotbed, Toyota makes those improvements through its willingness to stop, attend, and fix the …

Dyslexia and Entrepreneurs

Here’s a random-seeming question that pops up in the news from time to time: why do so many successful businesspeople have dyslexia?
A partial list:

Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s
Charles R. Schwab, founder of Charles Schwab Corp.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways
John T. Chambers, CEO of Cisco
 Craig McCaw, founder of McCaw Cellular and Clearwire
 Anita Roddick, founder …

Little Tiger

With the Masters golf tournament starting up, it’s a good time to go ask a question. We know how amazingly talented Tiger Woods is right now. But what was he like when he started out?  When he was a little kid? 
Fortunately, there’s an answer:

The answer is, he’s pretty good. A decent swing, under lots of pressure. …

Ray and Otis

Ray LaMontagne

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Ray LaMontagne. In case you haven’t heard of him, he’s a folk/soul singer from Maine who’s gotten big lately because of his amazing voice.  He’s also got  something I can’t resist – a great story. It has three parts:
I: Young Ray has a hardscrabble childhood, never plays …


First of all, thanks for reading. I’ll be coming here from time to time to write about stuff connected to the ideas and stories within The Talent Code– and likely lots of stuff that’s not so connected.