Entrepreneurs Get Better with Age – HBR

Entrepreneurs Get Better with Age – Whitney Johnson – Harvard Business Review.

Independent Work May Be Inevitable – Whitney Johnson – Harvard Business Review.

Just as larger businesses provide economic stability to society in the form of higher pay, better medical care, and retirement, experienced workers provide intellectual and emotional ballast in the workplace including innovation expertise. Think about it — disruptive innovation is about playing where no one wants to play (low-end), or has thought of playing (new market).

Disruptive innovation.  The more I think about this term the more I begin to realize it is time to change once again.  As a life underwriting expert witness I’ve played in an area where few underwriters get to play.  As I look back on the recent past expert witness work was never the main focus.  The more I think about this the more I come to realize it is time to refocus.

So where do you want to play?

Life Underwriting Expert Witness (for now)

It’s up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you’ll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself—not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.  And we will have to stay mentally alert and engaged during a 50-year working life, which means knowing how and when to change the work we do.

Peter Drucker

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be doing expert witness work 10 years in the future I would not have believed you.  Read Drucker’s quote above and read it again.  Let these words sink in, especially the wisdom about knowing how and when to change the work you do.  I’ve changed the work I do multiple times in my life.  I’ll probably change again at some point in the future.  Don’t fool yourself.  Change of this nature is not easy but it will become increasingly necessary for your career.

How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges – ProPublica

ProPublica has taken a close look at the Caramadre case because it offers a window into a larger issue: The transformation of the life insurance industry away from its traditional business of insuring lives to peddling complex financial products. This shift has not been a smooth one. Particularly during the lead up to the financial crisis, companies wrote billions worth of contracts that now imperil their financial health.

In a series of detailed interviews, Caramadre said the companies designed the rules; all he did was exploit them. Their hunger for profits in a period of dizzying growth and competition, he contends, left them vulnerable to someone with his unusual acumen. The companies have argued in court that Caramadre is a fraud artist who should return every last dime he made. In his rulings to date, the federal judge hearing the civil cases has agreed with Caramadre’s contention that he was doing what the fine print allowed.

via Death Takes a Policy: How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges – ProPublica.

by Jake Bernstein
ProPublica, Aug. 24, 2012

Well written and well researched, this article is worth reading.  An article from the Wall Street Journal in 2010 also makes for good reading and that link is below.

Investors Recruit Terminally Ill to Outwit Insurers on Annuities – WSJ.com.

Go Do – How Hard Can It Be?

Change This – Go Do: How Hard Can It Be?.

If you work hard and love what you do you will find success.  Common sense tells us we all become pretty skilled at things we love to do.  Conversely, you will never get good at things you hate to do.

Hard work alone is not a guarantee of success.  The lack of hard work guarantees failure.

Failure leads to success.  You must fail to learn how to succeed.


Do or not do.  There is no try.


Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed – Forbes

Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. Additionally, Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.

via Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed – Forbes.

Life Underwriting Expert Witness Search Results on Google Alternatives

We get so focused on Google that it’s easy to forget there are alternatives to Google search. Granted, the alternatives are not nearly as popular. At 66% market share and 11.7 billion searches during the month of February 2012 alone, Google clearly is the leader. But other search engines are worth understanding — both from the perspective of when you are a searcher for information, and from the perspective of a site owner knowing that visitors may come from those other search engines.

via Google Alternatives.

I came across this article while catching up on news one Saturday morning.  For fun I ran the search string “life underwriting expert witness” without quotation marks on all of the search engines listed in the article.  I must admit that I was surprised at the search findings on all of the engines.

Let’s just say I’m a happy guy this morning.

Binge Drinking in Adults United States 2010

  • Binge drinking causes more than half of the 80,000 deaths and three quarters of the $223.5 billion in economic costs caused by excessive drinking.
  • Approximately one in six (38 million) U.S. adults binge drink, and do so approximately four times a month. On average, the largest number of drinks consumed by binge drinkers is eight drinks per occasion.
  • Prevalence and intensity of binge drinking was highest among persons aged 18–34 years, but the frequency of binge drinking was highest among binge drinkers aged ≥65 years. Binge drinkers with annual household incomes ≥$75,000 had the highest binge drinking prevalence, but binge drinkers with household incomes <$25,000 had the highest frequency and intensity of binge drinking.

via Medical News: Binge Drinking Common Among Adults, CDC Finds – in Public Health & Policy, Public Health from MedPage Today.

Vital Signs: Binge Drinking Prevalence, Frequency, and Intensity Among Adults — United States, 2010.

The first link takes you to the MedPage Today article.  The second link takes you to the source article which is also available in a downloadable PDF format.  This report is well worth sharing with your underwriting staff.