Read Everything

Joe Stampone Start a Career 8 Comments

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Peter Linneman for a series the ULI Young Leaders Committee is doing. I don’t want to give away too much of the interview, but there was one response that I wanted to share with you.

I asked Dr. Linneman, how can young real estate professionals differentiate themselves in an incredibly competitive marketplace?

His response, “read everything. I’m not talking about Wikipedia. In the old days, one would not think you were educated because you had an encyclopedic knowledge as an adult. Read the economist, the WSJ, the Financial Times, and Trade Magazines (not just real estate). Reading in this sense has become a bit of a lost art among young people. If you find everything by Googling and Wikipedia, you don’t get breadth and you don’t get depth. What differentiates is someone who actually has breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of what the issues are.

What you tend to have is a generation that is neither broad nor deep because they believe they can Google it and get it when they need it. There is something that every generation has that previous didn’t have, but everything comes with some cost. The current generation knows how to access information but they don’t know how to acquire or own information.”

I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. Our generation, myself included, spends so much time reading short stories, Facebook posts, and tweets that we have a wide-array of knowledge, but little depth of understanding. This type of knowledge appears very shallow to the older generation.

What’s on your daily reading list?

See the full ASotREG Reading List here.

  • Kevin Maggiacomo

    Great post.  Look forward to reading the interview.  Dr. Linneman’s comments are spot on.  With respect to Wikipedia, Google, and even Costar and Loopnet, one has to ask – are these convenience applications changing the way we learn and process information…eroding at certain skill sets and shallowing out the depths of knowledge of subject matter that our predecessors once had?

    I think they are.For me, I am aware of the fact that my brain now approaches learning a bit differently than it did 10 years ago.  My mind now expects to receive information the way that the Internet feeds it to me – instantly and with little effort.  I have made it a personal challenge to add to my cognitive skills rather than replace them with technical applications.  This has required me to slow down in the short run at times, but in the long run I feel as if I’m expanding upon the depths of my knowledge base (as Dr. Linneman suggests), not shrinking it.

  • Kevin, thanks for the insightful comment. I’m definitely experiencing the same issue – I tend to consume small bits of info and jump medium to medium.

    Ask me about what’s happening in Syria and there’s not much I can tell you. I should consider taking on a similar personal challenge, i know it’ll be a challenge.

  • Kyle Zaylor


    Great post and interview! I couldn’t agree more. 

  • Thanks for reading Kyle. What are your favorite business/finance resources?

  • Kyle Zaylor

    Hey Joe, that’s a great question. I interviewed a developer
    several years ago and asked him the same thing. He said that he reads anything
    he can get his hands on and commented that much of it has come back to inform
    his development and investment decisions. 
    Since then I’ve tried to take on the same mentality.

    Here are a few resources I get a lot of value from (among
    (also in Wednesday Money/Investments section of WSJ)

  • That’s a phenomenal answer and great list. Thanks Kyle!

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