Hot Streaks through AI-Driven Analysis

The biggest impediment to understanding which elements trigger a hot streak was not being able to characterize creative works in a standard way across diferrent careers. 

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University then developed a deep neural network for the three domains of cous: paintings, film, and science. Their AI system used visual-recognition technology to analyze creative artworks. 

The neural network enabled the researchers to capture the dimensions related to their career output in the context of exploration and exploitation.

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What Triggers a Career Hot Streak?

insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu

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Hot Streaks

Hot streaks are also known as 'career-defining periods of unusual success' and this has been observed in almost every domain such as Einstein's "Miracle Year" of groundbreaking discoveries to director Peter Jackson's box-office-smash Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

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How Individuals and Organizations can Promote Hot Streaks

Individuals can promote and support hot streaks by pursuing any creative endeavor by exploring multiple subfields to find the right fit.

Organizations can promote and support hot streaks by making use of 'hot streak insights' because applying the understanding of hot-streak dynamics can help decide on how to manage intellectual property. 

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The researchers from Pennsylvania state University found that the 'recipe' for a hot streak = the exploration of creative options followed by exploitation of a specific lane of work.

However, following this, that equation is not enough in itself but a 'specific exploration-exploitation sequence' is needed to increase the likelihood of a hot streak. 

The research shows that when people experiment, they likely gain new skills from working in different subfields and then eventually find the best one to exploit.

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Researchers analyzed the career-long performance of more than 20,000 scientists, 3,000 artists, and 6,000 filmmakers. 

They found and confirmed the existence of a "hot streak" in one's mid-career - a multiyear where there are a series of successful outcomes within a finite period. 

Between 80% to 91% of people analyzed were likely to have at least one hot streak, while a third had two hot streaks.

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It's never too late for your career to peak

fastcompany.com

Creative Career or not?

Those in creative careers often see a burst of success. That burst or a "hot streak" is seen right after an experimental phase of focus on one approach. 

Many creatives find themselves on a roll at some point in their career, like Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy), but when it exactly happens is absolutely random.

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Scientists identify key conditions to set up a creative ‘hot streak’

theguardian.com

The exploration-exploitation dilemma

Great innovators are known for risk-taking and experimentation. But optimising needs a different skill-set that relies on refinement and efficiency. It is then rare to find people that can innovate and optimise.

A typical story is that a founder launches a startup, successfully grows it through the initial stages, then gets replaced by a more experienced CEO. However, the best results are produced when exploration and exploitation coincide.

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The ambidextrous mindset: how to balance exploration and exploitation

nesslabs.com