In Defense of the "Smackdown" Learning Model

I've occasionally been told that I have a confrontational style of communication. But that's not necessarily a bad thing-- as Kathy Sierra points out, the smackdown learning model can be surprisingly effective:


This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/07/in-defense-of-the-smackdown-learning-model.html

More “smackdown” evidence; two founders is better than one:

http://www.paulgraham.com/start.html

Ideally you want between two and four founders. It would be hard to start with just one. One person would find the moral weight of starting a company hard to bear. Even Bill Gates, who seems to be able to bear a good deal of moral weight, had to have a co-founder. But you don’t want so many founders that the company starts to look like a group photo. Partly because you don’t need a lot of people at first, but mainly because the more founders you have, the worse disagreements you’ll have. When there are just two or three founders, you know you have to resolve disputes immediately or perish. If there are seven or eight, disagreements can linger and harden into factions. You don’t want mere voting; you need unanimity.

I can’t remember where I read it, but I distinctly remember reading that companies with multiple founders tend to be statistically more successful than those with a single founder.

"I’ve occasionally been told that I have a confrontational style of communication"
Surely you’re kidding… ; )

Thanks for that Paul Graham reference too.
Cheers

Huh, I thought that smackdown learning would have more smacking :slight_smile:

That would explain why I’ve always found that podcasts with two hosts is better than those that have a single host.

I love smacking you back. It just kinda makes me feel good inside. :wink:

"Printed material inherently makes assertions. It is almost impossible to write a meaningful sentence which does not make an assertion; and as such, when reading, the reader is being presented with assertions which they are required to agree with, to suspend judgement upon, or to refute.

A book is essentially a very long set of assertions which build an argument. The reader has to keep track of the assertions, build up an overall picture, and come to a conclusion of his own, which may or may not match or fully match the view of the author."

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death

I don’t know about that Postman book.

Couldn’t you make the same argument about radio? Conversely, couldn’t many of the same criticisms he applies to TV also apply to writing? Writing can also be pure entertainment.

I will agree that TV / video is a more passive medium.

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007

I think it’s sad that Kathy Sierra (linked to in this article) would support something called the smackdown learning model after being spending most of her life living in fear of her abusive husband.

[I can’t remember where I read it, but I distinctly remember reading that companies with multiple founders tend to be statistically more successful than those with a single founder.]

Edward Roberts study of Boston startups over 30 years - required reading for engineers who thing they can start a company.

http://www.amazon.com/Entrepreneurs-High-Technology-Lessons-Beyond/dp/0195067045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8s=booksqid=1214567694sr=1-1

Hogan sucks I love Andre

Expert-sexchange? My life as a sysadmin got so much better when someone told me I could use the Customize Google Firefox add-on to filter them out.

Seriously. Try it. Add this to Tools CustomizeGoogle Options Filter:

/^http://www.experts-exchange.com/

Et voil.