DiscoverInvest Like the Best with Patrick O'ShaughnessyKenneth Stanley - Greatness Without Goals - [Invest Like the Best, EP.283]
Kenneth Stanley - Greatness Without Goals - [Invest Like the Best, EP.283]

Kenneth Stanley - Greatness Without Goals - [Invest Like the Best, EP.283]

Update: 2022-06-28


My guest today is Ken Stanley. Ken is a Professor in Computer Science and a pioneer in the field of neuroevolution. He is also the co-author of a book called, Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned, which details a provocative idea that setting big, audacious goals can reduce the odds of achieving something great. We discuss that revelation in detail and how to apply it in our day-to-day lives. Please enjoy this great discussion with Ken Stanley.


For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.




This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus streamlines the investment research process so you can get up to speed and find answers to critical questions on companies faster and more efficiently. The Tegus platform surfaces the hard-to-get qualitative insights, gives instant access to critical public financial data through BamSEC, and helps you set up customized expert calls. It’s all done on a single, modern SaaS platform that offers 360-degree insight into any public or private company. As a listener, you can take Tegus for a free test drive by visiting And until 2023 every Tegus license comes with complimentary access to BamSec by Tegus.




Today's episode is brought to you by Brex, the integrated financial platform trusted by the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at




Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit


Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.


Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.


Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus


Show Notes

[00:02:36 ] - [First question] - The best way to change the world is to stop trying to change it

[00:06:26 ] - The kinds of goals his work addresses and the ones it doesn’t

[00:08:46 ] - Almost no prerequisite to any major invention was invented with that major invention in mind

[00:14:04 ] - Picbreeder

[00:17:21 ] - How looking for specific results often makes arriving at them a longer process

[00:24:00 ] - The importance of the individual in a web of invention and disruption

[00:28:30 ] - How generations progressed in Picbreeder when consensus mechanisms were inserted into the process 

[00:31:24 ] - Examples of stepping stones that were invented that became something even greater

[00:36:02 ] - What his research means for how we should conduct ourselves writ large

[00:44:17 ] - Thoughts on necessity being the mother of all invention

[00:50:08 ] - The ways that society is arranged is psychologically toxic

[00:55:14 ] - The role that constraints play in creative output and outcomes in general; Brett Victor - Inventing on Principle

[01:01:10 ] - What the constraints are that he sets for himself in AI development

[01:04:44 ] - To know what’s new you need to know what’s not new

[01:06:47 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

[01:08:28 ] - How he would allocate resources to create more innovation in the world

In Channel
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store








Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Kenneth Stanley - Greatness Without Goals - [Invest Like the Best, EP.283]

Kenneth Stanley - Greatness Without Goals - [Invest Like the Best, EP.283]