I met Joel Podolny the first time in Berkely. I was a visiting scholar by then, hosted by Glenn Carrol at the superb (for me coming from italy, though at Bocconi) Haas School of business. It was 1998 and I was taking a short break to work on my research. Berkeley and the Bay Area were really a good choice for a start!
I remember Joel coming to meet Glenn and discuss his ideas on status-based competition. I was there in a nearby pub where we could taste a number of microbreweries beers. I think I met him once more in 2002 when we were at the 25th anniversary of Mike Hannan & John Freeman’s article on population ecology of organizations.
Joel has always been an incredibly smart scholar, though not too much inclined to demonstrate his unique ability. He was definitely a listener who would like to understand before stating. Clearly a inch above most of his cleverest colleagues if you brought him out of our meetings into the Real World.
He has a chance of a lifetime to be at the roots of the Steve Jobs’ legacy and I really wish him to make it happen.
Read about that challenge at Apple University: