IQ vs. EQ With “Scorpion,” Walter O’Brien #469
By: Dave Asprey
The differences between Intellectual Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence, and how one of the smartest men in the world hacks one to cover the other.
In this fascinating episode of Bulletproof Radio, Walter O’Brien (hacker handle: “Scorpion”) is a high IQ child prodigy who started programming computers at age nine. He went on to found a think tank for hire that provides consulting and product development to companies, government, and military worldwide.
But here is the catch! He partners his high IQ employees, with what he calls “Super Nannies.” People with high EQ to get the job done!
Also, in this episode, Dave Asprey talks about how he may “have been” on the spectrum and how most of his family tests high on the Asperger’s scale.
Enjoy the show!
Follow along with the Transcript
Links/Resources for Walter O’Brien
- Dave on Walter’s business. “You built a business around this idea of having emotionally intelligent people and basically people who are on the spectrum of Asperger’s and pairing them together.”
- “I was a kid in Ireland who didn’t fit in. Teachers complained I asked too much many questions.” Walter on being an exceptionally bright kid.
- On how Walter was first discovered to be an incredible hacker. “I hacked into NASA at 13 and stole the shuttle blueprints. Got busted by the NSA via Interpol.”
- On Walter’s initial testing as a kid. “What happened then was they had sent me for an IQ test. I scored 197 when he was nine years old.”
- How Walter started the Irish “Geek Squad.”
- Walter on hiring gifted children. “ I was wrong because as soon as I put two of them on the same project, they tried to kill each other while insulting the customer.”
- How he went out and hired people with high EQ. “So I went out and tested and found single moms, elementary school teachers, and psychologists who had high EQ scores, hired them to manage the people with high IQ.”
- Did Dave have Asperger’s Syndrome as a child? “Today, I think they would describe it as Asperger’s syndrome. All of my aunts and uncles, my grandmother all score high on the autism or at least on the Asperger’s scale and I was like 42 out of 50 on the basic test for that.”
- One of Walter’s favorite jokes. “A guy floats down the hot air balloon in Seattle and he yells out to a guy in a bicycle, “Hey, where am I?” The guy gets off the bicycle and looks at him carefully and looks at the ground and then says, “You’re about 50 feet up in a hot air balloon.” The guy in the balloon is slightly miffed and he goes, “You must be an engineer.” The guys goes, “That’s amazing. How did you know?” He said, “Because your answer is technically correct but completely useless.” Then the guy in the ground said, “Well, you must be in executive management.” He said, “How do you know?” He said, “Well, you’re floating around the clouds with no idea where you’re going, but now it’s my fault.”
- Walter’s parents on watching the TV show based on him. “So it was funny actually the TV show is the first time when they sat down and watched a few episodes that they kind of understood what I do for a living.”
- ConciergeUp.com “If you want to search something, type it in Google, you want it to happen, type it in here.”
- “So we basically are appealing to them to say give us all the stuff you suck at and let us use our expert network to handle that and you do your magic, you do what you’re brilliant at. That way, you reach your full potential.” Walter on Concierge Up.
- How the TV show Scorpion was created. “So what happened there was we started getting so many requests then that I started running out of geniuses to answer them. We had about 3,000 we could access in the consortium and they’re are 150 IQ or higher which is about one in 10,000 people.”
- The thought process behind the TV show. “So we’re getting so many requests and we’re running out of geniuses and they’re hard to find. So I went to my geniuses, I said, “Now, I have funded problem. How do I find more geniuses?” They analyzed the problem as engineers do and they came back to me and said, “If you write a book, the millennials probably won’t read it. If you make a movie, they’ll forget your name in six months. But if you replace CSI as the number one show in the earth for the 10 years, the geniuses will come find you. The 12-year-olds out there will grow up wanting to be scientists instead of wanting to be Kim Kardashian, and that has to be good for the country.”
- So I said, “Great, how do we make a TV show? I’ve never done anything in Hollywood.” So being geeks, we picked out favorite movies. So we got the producers of Transformers, Spider-Man, and Star Trek, the director of Fast and the Furious, the writers of Sopranos, Prison Break, and Hostages. Got them all together in a room and that was four years ago, and the show has been number one and number two now in a hundred and eighty-eight countries around the globe but up to a billion viewers a week. We’re still on every Monday night on CBS.”
- How Walter hires for EQ as well as for IQ in his company, and how a “Super Nanny” is definitely the hardest job in the company.
- How Walter tricks everyone into thinking he has Emotional Inelegance. “So I’m simulating EQ using the IQ abundance in real time. I thought maybe after doing that for a few years, it would grow on me but according to the therapist that measured it, they said, “No, you’re not emotionally invested at all. You’re still playing it like an actor.”
- “I’m sure that I’m definitely on the spectrum but where exactly now and whether if I took a test now, would I be still faking my EQ in the test or I appear normal or should I turn it off and be myself, in which case I’d probably be in the Asperger spectrum.”
- Walter on changing his diet. “I call it the fool’s diet because I fooled myself as an engineer. So everything I used to have and snack on late at night is now replaced with other stuff and I’m still snacking late at night, but all that other stuff is one gram of sugar.”
- On solving “any funded problem” on Concierge Up.
- On Walter’s other jobs… “Twenty-six hundred people were killed in the Gulf War by stray missiles because the target systems weren’t accurate enough. The last system I built is 99.98% accurate.”
- Walter on living your best life. “Then in terms of figuring out happiness, finding out their true self-actualization.”
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