Dark Horse


The Dark Horse Project studies how people attain excellence, even though their journeys to achievement do not fit conventional notions of learning, development, and careers. We seek to understand the crucial choices these “dark horses” made that enabled them to attain success outside of the standardized pathways imposed on us by our schools and professions.

The Dark Horse Project relies on the methodologies of the science of the individual. While most mastery research uses aggregate statistics to fashion models of “normal” patterns of learning, development, and talent (an approach sometimes described as “aggregate, then analyze”), we attempt to understand each dark horse on his or her own terms, according to each one's individual nature, then look for useful lessons that can be derived from their collective experiences  (“analyze, then aggregate”).

The ultimate goal of the Dark Horse Project is to provide everyone from youthful novices to experienced professionals with practical, actionable information to help them get better at the things that matter most to them, on their own terms, according to their own individual nature. Put simply, we are aiming to help anyone attain fulfillment.

Our unorthodox experts come from a diverse range of domains, including athletics, science, mathematics, engineering, cooking, comedy, music, art, magic, chess, architecture, carpentry, politics, movie production, fashion design, wine tasting, perfume making, and many others—and we are always looking for new domains to explore. Please let us know if there is someone we should be interviewing!

Contact Information
For more information about the project, or to nominate a dark horse, please contact Dr. Ogi Ogas (ogi_ogas@gse.harvard.edu).