Ethan Mollick is Now on Substack

Who is Ethan Mollick?

Ethan Mollick is an Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies and teaches innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also author of The Unicorn’s Shadow: Combating the Dangerous Myths that Hold Back Startups, Founders, and Investors. His papers have been published in top management journals and have won multiple awards. His work on crowdfunding is the most cited article in management published in the last seven years.
Prior to his time in academia, Ethan cofounded a startup company, and he currently advises a number of startups and organizations. As the Academic Director and cofounder of Wharton Interactive, he works to transform entrepreneurship education using games and simulations. He has long had interest in using games for teaching, and he coauthored a book on the intersection between video games and business that was named one of the American Library Association’s top 10 business books of the year. He has built numerous teaching games, which are used by tens of thousands of students around the world.

Here is the Interactive (that’s the name of the site, hence the capitalization) website, and it has a lovely little pun for its title. Here is his Google Scholar page, and here is his academic page. He doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, but here is an interesting Twitter thread about Wikipedia written by him. And if you insist on a Wikipedia page, well, you have to qualify to be able to read it. Can you eat glass? Here is a tweet by him, it’ll allow you to make progress on following Ethan Mollick on all platforms.

In short, Ethan Mollick is that all-too-rare example of a person who is consistently interesting, and from whom you’ll get to learn a lot. And he is now, as I mentioned, on Substack.

His first post on Substack tells you how to be more creative, and if I may be allowed to paraphrase his advise, it boils down to chilling and sleeping. That’s the kind of under-rated advice the world really needs right now!

The sleep suggestion is important. It is really clear that sleep is critical to successful idea generation, especially in the context of making entrepreneurs more creative. The effects go beyond just creativity, however. People who are sleep-deprived not only generate lower-quality ideas but become bad at differentiating between good ideas and bad ones. Worse still, research shows that sleep-deprived individuals become more impulsive and are more likely to act on the bad ideas they generate. That means that a chronically sleep-deprived person would be more likely to come up with bad ideas, think they are good, and suddenly quit their job to pursue them! So, creativity starts with a good night’s sleep, and if you can’t manage that, a 75-minute nap has been found to do almost as a good a job in putting people in the right frame of mind to be creative.

And as a bonus, he says you can hurry your creativity along by having more coffee!

The world needs more people who are interesting, helpful, creative and interested in making the world progress. Please do follow Ethan Mollick wherever possible, and learn how to help make the world a more interesting, and therefore better, place. What else is there in life, no?

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