What Motivates Curiosity For Learning New Things
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In Chapter 5 of 13 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, data analytics expert Ken Rona answers "What Motivates You to Learn New Things?" Professionally, business impact motivates Rona. He sees being a driver of innovation as a point of pride and means to game changing outcomes. Personally, Rona finds parenting - rightfully - takes away time from hobbies and interests and begins to revisit hobbies including cars and photography.


Erik: What motivates you to learn new things? Ken: It depends on the domain in life. So professionally, the thing that motivates me is business impact, right, like I am – I’ve – god, I would be embarrassed. I literally would be just embarrassed if somebody was like Rona is the thing that’s standing in our way. He doesn’t wanna – he’s one of them now. I would just be like what happened to me? Why am I not – why am I no longer a driver of innovation? And so that’s a point of pride, right. And I think that, you know, the value of innovation can’t be understated. I mean I think that the last thing I wanna be is part of the me-too generation, right. I’m really interested in doing something unique and interesting. I mean that’s just – you know, also I have excess, otherwise my brain gets kind of bored, right. So, you know, I mean part of this is just driving, and part of this is, you know, I think it’s good for the staff, right, to push themselves, to learn new stuff, but often, you know, you find something, you find some innovation, you find some company you can partner with that changes – it’s just like what I was talking about game-changing analyses, you can find game-changing partners, you can invent game-changing capability, like that stuff is just as fun as the game-changing analytics, right. I think in my personal life – I said this to my wife the other day, actually, I feel like I’ve become a little boring, like when before we had the kids. Right now I spend a lot of time with the children, a lot of time commuting, whatever balance, you know, my wife and I hang out together, but I really, you know, obviously I work, but my hobbies really have taken a backseat. And I felt like before like I could talk about poker, like I still can but I’m not as knowledgeable. I had poker interest. I had sailboating interests. And I think that while I can still maintain that curiosity in my professional career, the kind of helping raise these children has really made it hard for me to devote – to be an interesting person anymore. So we were at a party, and I was like god, we should hang out with those people. They’re more interesting than us. And I was a little embarrassed by that. I was like shit, we used to be the interesting ones. And I think like, you know, we’re just in a phase right now where the children require a lot of time and energy, and like we committed to doing a good job to each other. We’ve committed to each other to do a good job with the children. So currently, I’m just now – just now starting to lift my head up and say okay Ginge, that’s my wife’s name, okay, actually, I’m just pulling my head up now and looking to kind of go to town on some other topic, right. So I used to study poker. I studied sailing. And I’m starting to get into cars. So I may take cars as a hobby. I’m also thinking about kicking back, I used to be a photographer when I was in high school, and I’m thinking about going out and buying myself a nice SLR and doing some photography again. So I’m – I think the kids are now old enough where I don’t need to devote quite so much time to them, and I can start to foster some personal interests again.