In the two years that I sat at that Austin coffee house each day, it felt like I found an arbitrage opportunity: a free education. But the credit was none my own. The room over-indexed on successful executives and entrepreneurs who’d seen material success in the booming Texas city. I listened intently. The majority of the ideas came from business partners, waiters, investors, entrepreneurs, clergy, artists, and bystanders who were enthusiastic about their pursuits. Their conversations filled gaps in my thinking. It was a period of information synthesis: a process of integrating information from disparate sources into a coherent whole.
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