Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Search Challenge

I usually teach search as a hands-on skill.  While I could teach you the theory of search, nothing really beats doing it and feeling the success with your searches as they pass through your fingers.

So I like to give puzzles, little search problems that are real problems that I've seen people in the wild have while they're searching.

Going forward, I'll post a little Challenge problem from my field studies each week.  You'll have 24 hours(or so) to work on it before I post a solution.  If you solve the problem before then, and you have a particularly clever solution, send me mail at  (DO NOT post a comment until after I've put up the solution)

Search Challenge #1

I was talking with a friend at Peet's coffee the other day, and he mentioned that there was a great Malcolm Gladwell story in some magazine about how effective the full court press is in basketball, and we wondered why everyone doesn't use it in all their games.

My friend also said that the article was about a Silicon Valley CEO who taught the full court press strategy to his daughter's 12-year-olds basketball team, and won everything in sight!  Tha'ts also amazing: a Silicon Valley CEO with the time and devotion to coach a kids' basketball team!  (Some things are right in the world.)

So we were wondering:  

Who IS the Silicon Valley CEO (that Gladwell mentions in his story) who coaches girls' basketball AND what company is he/she the CEO for?

Comment:  This is a fairly easy challenge (maybe a 1 minute problem), but there's a reason I'm starting with a simple problem like this.  More details and commentary tomorrow.  


  1. Hi Dan. am enjoying the blog! Was just thinking about a search tip you once highlighted in other writings....that I don't necessarily think you should teach in kids' classes (because they should read the whole article and build their skimming and gleening skills!!) and it also doesn't really apply to this new yorker article where the coach name is easily spotted in very first line...but if it happened to be one of those very looong atlantic monthly type articles or a chain item that was a little more obsure to locate and one was in a big hurry or such, then you could add one baby search chain step of using the Find feature on your browswer window and let the computer search through the article for you to highlight for example "coach" or "whatever keyword"


  2. Not to worry, Carlin, that post is coming. Soon!

  3. [ malcolm gladwell girls basketball team ]HOW

    Answer: Vivek Ranadive CEO of TIBCO