The Art of Doing

Seeing Double, What We Can Learn from Dynamic Duos

John and Paul, Jobs and Woz, Watson and Crick—in his new book, “Powers of Two,” Joshua Wolf Shenk offers an alternative to the myth of the lone genius.

John and PaulLennon and McCartney, Buffett and Munger, Jobs and Wozniak, Watson and Crick—how creative pairs come together and create together and why greatness so often arrives in two’s.

We have long been under the influence of the myth of the lone genius that toils in isolation and one day emerges with the brilliant creation. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find that a great achievement—the groundbreaking scientific discovery, work of art or technological breakthrough—is often the result of two individuals who come together as a pair to form a joint creative identity.

In his new fascinating and meticulously researched book, the Powers of Two, Josh Wolf Shenk writes about dozens of creative dyads. Shenk’s analysis of the inner workings of some of the world’s most famous creative pairs—why some work and others don’t and why some that once worked, break apart—is a goldmine of information for any two people wanting to become the next John and Paul or Jobs and Woz.

Even though he spent six years writing and researching his book, Shenk told us, he’s been astounded to find that the creative dyad phenomenon is even more widespread than he thought. “Ever since the book came out, people have been contacting me with stories of famous collaborators,” he said, “when all along I had thought it been just been the one guy.”

Here are Shenk’s four steps of the creative dyad life cycle: Continue reading “Seeing Double, What We Can Learn from Dynamic Duos”

The Art of Spending: Don’t Spend Less, Spend Smarter

Behavioral scientists Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton want to help you spend smarter.


Our Q & A with behavioral scientists Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

There’s no escaping the avalanche of advice from financial gurus on how to make, save and invest our money. But when it comes to spending money, you’re mostly on your own. In their book “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending,” behavioral scientists Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School set out to fill that need. With data-driven research, they give us practical advice on how, why, when and where people can spend money to help them achieve the ultimate goal of happiness. Continue reading “The Art of Spending: Don’t Spend Less, Spend Smarter”