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Okay, you might say I’m getting carried away with this whole ukulele thing. But I think it’s a rich vein. Here at the headquarters, we’re always looking for shorthand ways of talking about personalities, styles, capabilities, aptitudes, and stuff like that. We talk about the quintessential/exceptional paradigm, in which greatness falls into one of two categories (Michael Jordan is quintessential, Dennis Rodman is exceptional). We have a whole alphabet soup of Meyers-Brigs and HBDI language (I am an INFP, quadrant B resistant, D-C…of course).

Well, I believe I have discovered a breakthrough in personality pidgin-holeing (pun intended). I call it the Jake/IZ continuum. The whole idea is that the extremes are represented by Jake, the totally awesome, rhythmically sophisticated, precise, accomplished virtuoso of the ukulele. IZ is the other extreme—the primitive, self taught, inventive, one-of-a-kind charismatic dynamo of the ukulele. With these as the ends of the rope, we can create a continuum. Zero is boring…right in the middle, not all that accomplished, not all that charismatic, but safe. A J10 would be extreme mastery and virtuosity (Mozart). A IZ10 would be an extreme innovator, driven by invention, spontaneity, and charisma (Jim Cary or Dexter Gordan, maybe).

As writers go, I would consider myself about a J8. I used to work with a savant named Terry Doyle, who talked in headlines. He would be like an IZ7 or IZ8—his stuff always worked, but he couldn’t really tell you why or reconcile it to the strategy.

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