Episode #66 – Decoding Greatness with Ron Friedman

My guest today is Ron Friedman, author of Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer SuccessIn this episode Ron applies the principles of reverse engineering to creative fields like writing and investing. We talk about how to study people who are the best in the world at what they do by breaking down what it is they’re doing that is contributing to their success, and then then working backward to figure out how they did it.

Ron reveals how true innovation comes from following an established formula and then making it a little more original by putting our own spin on it. 


  • Why completely novel ideas often fail
  • How to break down a successful book, movie, speech, article, TED Talk or song and learn from it
  • How to start with an established formula and make it a little bit more original
  • What the “vision-ability” gap is and how to overcome it
  • Why it’s important to find and measure the leading indicators that predict success in your field
  • Why Friedman keeps a “Five Year Diary” and how it helps him get more out of every day
  • Why studying someone and actively trying to copy their work will eventually help you find your own creativity

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