Blast BIG Problems with the Novice Advantage

Asteroids by Atari - promo

For those of you who are taking on big problems and big world changing projects, I’ve got a vitamin C shot of inspiration for you. It’s an article that demonstrates you can learn and accomplish really cool things if you’re persistent and ask for help.

Take Ian Webster, a nerd who decided to calculate the worth of asteroids – for fun. As his project widened in scope, he realised he had no idea what he was doing. Turns out he had the Novice Advantage.

Instead of hunkering down into stealth mode and trying to figure it all out himself, Webster contacted and spoke to anyone who could give advice. Then things started to happen.

Webster cold called, posted on social media sites, leveraged LinkedIn and even plucked leads from the referer logs in his website analytics.

What he ultimately came up with 13 months later was not just an asteroid value calculator, it was “a full astronomical toolkit that included web scrapers, a data pipeline, powerful visualizations, and the ability to discover new asteroids.”

It’s called Asterank, and you really got to see it.

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki was right of course: in the expert’s mind there are few possibilities, but in the beginner’s mind there are many.


Related reading: “Start from the Start” with 4 Problem-Solving Methods

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