Posts Tagged ‘Bill Gates’

“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”
                                                              Leonardo da Vinci 

Leonardo da Vinci is best known as creating two of the greatest pieces of artwork ever, The Last Supper & Mona Lisa. But he was a curious kind of fellow and his mind wandered into many arenas beyond painting; architecture, science, anatomy, botany, geology and physics, engineering, sculpturing, designing, traveling, and inventing. Of course, one could point out that the Renaissance artist only left 17 pieces of artwork (in various states of completion) and many of his thoughts fell short, but that would miss the point of his genius. He was on the forefront of planting seeds for so many ideas that did come to fruition.

“Leonardo da Vinci carried a notebook with him at all times so that he could jot down ideas, impressions, and observations as they occured. His notebooks…contained jokes and fables, the observations and thoughts of scholars he admired, personal financial records, letters, reflections on domestic problems, philosphical musings and prophecies, plans for inventions, and treaties on anatomy, botany, geology, flight, water, and painting…Although he expressed an intention to organize and publish them someday , he never got around to it. He was too busy searching for truth and beauty. For Da Vinci, the process of recording questions, observations, and ideas was of great importance.”
                                            Michael J. Gelb
                                           How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci 
                                            page 57-58 

Some scholars think that of the 7,000 pages of Leonardo’s notebook that exist that they represent only half of his writings. It’s no surprise that Bill Gates paid over $30 million for less than 30 pages of Leonardo’s notebook. 

Is there any question that if Leonardo were alive today that he would have written a screenplay or two? 


Scott W. Smith

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If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling books The Tipping Point and Blink then you are familiar with his interesting way of looking at the world. You may not always agree with his conclusions, but his observations are always thought provoking. His recent book Outilers is no different. In fact, it is the perfect book for this blog and I will write about it more in the coming days.

But if you are not familiar with Outliers, or even Galdwell, I wanted to make sure they both got on your radar. The subtitle to Outliers is The Story of Success. Galdwell looks at why an usually high number of the top hockey players are born in January, February, and March. Why Hamberg, Germany played a key role in developing the talent of the Beatles. And why being born on or around 1955 was important to be a computer wiz like Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Steve Jobs. 

“People don’t rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage. The people who stand before kings may look like they did it themselves. But the fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievment in ways we cannot begin to imagine. It’s not enough to ask what successful people are like, in other words. It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.”

We’ll look more into this beginning tomorrow with a special Q&A with Colin Covert, the film critic for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. One cannot ignore the fact that two films in the that two years that  have made over $100 million at the box office (Juno & Gran Torino) were written by writers in the Minneapolis area.

Related post: Screenwriting Jamaican-Olympic Style

Update: I just decided at random  to see when three of the top all-time pro hockey players (off the time of my head) were born and Gladwell’s research was on the money;  Wayne Gretzky (January), Bobby Orr (March), Gordie Howe (March).  I think Gladwell, and those whose he reports on who have done research in this area, are on to something. 


Scott W. Smith

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