How to Think Like a Rocket Scientist | OZAN VAROL


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By Ryan Michler. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We’ve all heard the term, “It’s not rocket science.” And, while that is true of most conversations, topics, and activities, there are benefits to thinking about problems the way a rocket scientist does.

Today, I am joined by Ozan Varol, a rocket scientist who formerly worked with NASA. In today’s conversation, we talk about what it means to test as you fly and fly as you test, the difference between strategies and tactics and why it matters, why it’s important to give you mental space to play, and why thinking like a rocket scientist will help you make giant leaps in your personal and professional life.


  • Thinking practically
  • Conceiving ideas
  • Questioning assumptions
  • Breaking down systems
  • Creating new markets
  • Celebrating failure
  • Learning from failure
  • Doing things differently
  • Surviving your own success
  • Thinking you’re a failure
  • Reframing questions
  • Generating better answers
  • Making better decisions
  • The worst-case scenario
  • Find your breaking point


My guest today is Ozan Varol. He was born in Istanbul and, at the age of 17, he moved to the United States alone to study astrophysics.

While he was there, he served on the operations team for the Mars Exploration Rovers. If that wasn’t enough, he then pivoted and graduated first in his class from law school and earned the highest grade point average in his law school’s history. He now teaches law as a professor and his works have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, TIME, CNN, and the Washington Post.

And, today, he is here to share some of his knowledge with us from his new book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist.


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591 episodes