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The 13th Edition - On good ideas, working clean & the use of machine learning in TurboTax

George Nurijanian
George Nurijanian
Here’s what I’ve been pondering:

1 quote
“Don’t think highly of the person who never opposes you. It doesn’t show that he loves you, it shows he loves himself.” - Baltasar Gracián
1 video
Enjoyed this book summary of “Where Good Ideas Come From”. 
“The chance favors a connected mind.”  
Just wish Slack was more like Twitter.
2 thoughts
  • What would your biggest detractor do if they were in your shoes, and what’s helpful to you now about that choice?
  • We’re secretly on the lookout for models while simultaneously denying that we need any. (From “Wanting” by Luke Burgis)
3 TL;DRs
Knowledge work is in a similar place today as the craft of cooking was in 1859.
We need a dynamic, flexible system to access what we need without throwing our environment (and mind) into chaos.
At the heart of mise-en-place is an unrelenting honesty about the limits of time and space.
The chef’s ethos is total utilization: to use every part of the animal, every minute of time, and every layer of awareness.
The 6 Practices of Working Clean:
  1. Sequence
  2. Placeholders
  3. Immersive vs. processing time
  4. Finishing mindset
  5. Small, precise movements
  6. Arrangement
Organic, Bottom-Up Ideation
Organic, bottom-up ideation is all about solving problems that you currently have yourself or had in the past. It’s a great method because the best ideas are often things that you notice rather than things you purposefully come up with during a brainstorming session.
Organic, Top-Down Ideation
If no promising ideas grow out of your own experiences, it’s time to become the kind of person who has more interesting product ideas. Instead of starting with a specific problem, you pick a new field and then try to get to the edge of it. The most common way to do this is to work at a company in this space.
Inorganic, Bottom-Up Ideation
If you talk to people to find their specific pains, we call this inorganic, bottom-up ideation. The goal is to discover the most painful problems (processes) that you can then put through the meat grinder. Instead of talking to individual people it can make a lot of sense to observe what happens within a whole industry.
Inorganic, top-down ideation
The key idea is, as with, organic, top-down ideation, to start with a specific industry in mind. Instead of immersing yourself in it, you observe it from the outside like a scientist. Pay special attention to phrases that express pain or frustration since these could be promising starting points for new products.
A single ideation session will usually not be sufficient. A solid ideation system consists of an ideation habit, an idea inbox, and a meat grinder. 
Entrepreneurs need to become the kind of person who has amazing ideas. The author developed a product idea prompt generator that he uses daily.
Most data-centric knowledge graph use cases help you understand and visualize data and the semantic relationships contained within it. But there is little research showing how to represent large-scale complicated business logic with knowledge graph technologies. 
In this paper, the authors share their innovative and practical approach to representing complicated U.S. and Canadian income tax compliance logic (calculations and rules) via a large-scale knowledge graph. 
They cover how the Tax Knowledge Graph is constructed and automated, how it is used to calculate tax refunds, reasoned to find missing info, and navigated to explain the calculated results. 
The Tax Knowledge Graph has helped transform Intuit’s flagship TurboTax product into a smart and personalized experience, accelerating and automating the tax preparation process while instilling confidence for millions of customers. 
(Litmaps also connect this paper on Tax Knowledge Adventure, a prototype useful for U.S. Taxpayers.)
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George Nurijanian
George Nurijanian @nurijanian

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