I had a chance to meet entrepreneurs in the wonderful city of Pune yesterday and met some really amazing folks. One of them, Roby John, impressed me much, but more about him in another post. He gave me a book to read called “How Children Succeed“.
For anyone that has very young kids, is thinking of kids or works with kids (teachers, care providers, etc.) this is a must read book.
In the book Paul Tough talks about the things that dont matter early on – cognitive abilities and those that do – grit, curiosity, optimism etc.
There’s one part in the book that struck me as odd after I have had a chance to read it and understand its key points.
Tough mentions one person “James Heckman” from who he claims he got most of his information and connections from.
That’s it. One person.
Heckman is a Nobel laureate and a leading thinker in the field of cognitive sciences.
Heckman is quite possibly in the 1% of Americans given his background and work.
I found it fascinating that over $5 Billion was being invested on changing early childhood programs and parenting based on his work alone.
One person – making a dramatic change in the world.
1% of the world’s population is a fairly large number – 70 Million.
0.001% is a mighty small number. 70,000
I think the number of influential thinkers, taste makers and people that determine and shape the course of our world is even smaller. Its possibly 7000 people or less.
These are the folks that are not necessarily rich, but are the most powerful and those that change the world for all the other 7 Billion.
Fewer than 10,000 people (which I think is also a very high number) that make decisions and think and do for the rest of us. The rest are largely living in the world created by the 0.001%.
They are certainly not the richest, or always the most powerful.
Now imagine the same for smaller “worlds”.
Like clothing. Imagine fewer than 100 people that decide the things we should wear.
Or movies, music and dance.
Unfortunately that’s a lot more real than even I thought was happening.
The chosen few are making the decisions that the rest of us live with.