About 2017-09-22T18:41:08+00:00

Are you a contrarian?

Hi, I’m Ozan. I’m a rocket scientist turned author and award-winning law professor.

At heart, I’m a contrarian. Through my articles and interviews, I show how extraordinary thinking produces extraordinary results, whether at work or at the next dinner party.

The thousands who are members of my exclusive email list span multiple industries. They’re New York Times bestselling authors, lawyers, musicians, corporate executives, doctors, and constitutional court judges. But above all, they’re pioneers and rebels. They have a passion for redefining the status quo and challenging deeply held views about how the world works. They know that they can’t get ahead if they simply follow what others are doing.

Although the term contrarian is often used in the investing context, this website is not about investing.  In these pages, you’ll find new ways of looking at old ideas from fields as diverse as art, astronomy, politics, and psychology. You’ll learn from famous contrarians who excelled in life precisely because they refused to sing the same tune as the crowd.

If you don’t want to miss out, sign up for updates and get the free Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking.

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Who is Ozan Varol?

Here’s my bio, written in the third person–you know, so it sounds less pompous.

Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist, award-winning law professor, and author of non-fiction books.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ozan grew up in a family of no English speakers. He learned English as a second language and moved to the United States by himself at 17 to attend Cornell University and major in planetary sciences.

While there, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers project that sent two rovers–Spirit and Opportunity–to Mars.  He built stuff that went to the red planet and wrote code that snaps photos of the Martian surface.

Then, he walked away from it all and became a law professor to influence others to make interplanetary leaps on this planet.  He graduated first in his class from law school, earning the highest grade point average in his law school’s history since the introduction of the 4-point grading scale.

You can learn more about his journey in an article that was published in TIME.

He’s currently a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in beautiful Portland, Oregon. He has written numerous award-winning articles that are taught in colleges and graduate schools. His academic work has focused on challenging conventional wisdom on constitutional design and democratic revolutions. He has been featured in various domestic and foreign media, including BBC, TIME, CNN, Washington Post, Slate, and Foreign Policy. He has advised the U.S. Department of Defense, given lectures at foreign constitutional courts, and presented at businesses, non-profits, and government institutions, including the U.S. Department of State. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Democratic Coup d’État, which will be published in October 2017 by Oxford University Press.

When he’s not teaching, Ozan can be found lecturing or blogging about contrarian thinking, swinging kettlebells, hanging out with his wife Kathy and his dog Einstein, and swearing at his television during Turkish soccer games.

If you’re interested in having Ozan come speak or work with you, check out his speaking and consulting page.

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What others are saying

If you’re interested in absorbing complex issues, learning how to attack a concept from multiple angles, or simply seeing the world for what it is, read anything with ‘Ozan Varol’ on the by-line.
- Gokalp Gurer
Ozan Varol is truly one of the most brilliant and fascinating individuals. You HAVE to sign up for his contrarian newsletter.
- Shawn Rae Shannon
It will stretch your brain in ways that you didn’t know you were ready for and always offers something you didn’t know you wanted. It’s the only mass email that I look forward to.
- Greg Brown
It is one of the few emails that I DON’T dread opening!
- Michael McGurl
It’s the one email I religiously read each week.
- Tim Chips
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Enough! I’m in. Now what?

I save the most valuable content exclusively for my subscribers. So if you don’t want to miss out, please sign up using the button below.

As an added bonus, you’ll get the free Contrarian Handbook and discover how extraordinary thinking produces extraordinary results.

Join now

I’M OZAN

As a law student, I graduated from my law school with the highest grade point average in its history.

Who is Ozan Varol?

Here’s my bio, written in the third person–you know, so it sounds less pompous.Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist, award-winning law professor, and author of non-fiction books.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ozan grew up in a family of no English speakers. He learned English as a second language and moved to the United States by himself at 17 to attend Cornell University and major in planetary sciences. While there, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers mission, doing everything from planning operations scenarios, helping select landing sites, and programming image compression algorithms for the rovers.

Dismayed at the absence of alien life on Mars, he switched gears and decided to go to law school. He graduated first in his class, earning the highest grade point average in his law school’s history since the introduction of the 4-point grading scale.

He’s currently an Associate Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in beautiful Portland, Oregon. He has written numerous award-winning articles that are taught in colleges and graduate schools. His work has been featured in domestic and foreign media, including BBC, CNN, Washington Post, Slate, and Foreign Policy. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Democratic Coup d’État, which will be published in 2017 by the Oxford University Press.

When he’s not teaching or writing, Ozan can be found swinging kettlebells, traveling the world like a local, playing with his dog Einstein, and swearing at his television set during Turkish soccer games.

OzanVarol
OzanVarol

Why this website ?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved intellectual challenges. I was the kid in my middle school class who raised his hand and took the unpopular view, or annoyed my teachers with incessant “why” questions. I’ve incorporated that outlook to my professional career. My articles and books buck the conventional wisdom and show why popular assumptions that we take for granted are often wrong.

As a multi-passionate academic, I also write popular non-fiction books. And this website is my canvas. This is where I sketch my own ideas, share thought-provoking wisdom by others, and invite discussion.

By definition, a canvas is a work-in-progress. I don’t claim to have all the answers and I screw up regularly (it’s the best way to learn). My favorite sentence in the English language is “I don’t know” and my favorite word is “Why?” (followed closely by “Shit!”).

Which brings me to YOU.

What’s in it for you?

I’m here to help you go to bed smarter than when you woke up, restore your child-like curiosity, and gain an unfair advantage in life.

I’ll break down big ideas into accessible, digestible pieces, so you can share and discuss them with others, whether at a cocktail party or a water cooler, wowing friends and co-workers with your prowess.

There is too much noise and distraction on the Internet. I cut through the noise to find the valuable signals so you don’t have to. I’m committed to sharing with you only the best of the best on a weekly basis through my newsletter.

You will not agree with everything I say or share. But even when you disagree, I expect that you will find the ideas thought-provoking, peppered with a good dose of humor.

If you’re looking for bulleted “15 ways to hack your life” guides, you’re in the wrong place.

But if you’re ready to move beyond soundbites and 140 characters, deep dive on big ideas, and reach the highest levels of your intellectual capacity, then this is your online sanctuary.

Let’s prove the world wrong.

LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET, SAPIEN METUS NAM, PORTA ODIO POSUERE

Here’s my bio, written in the third person–you know, so it sounds less pompous.Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist, award-winning law professor, and author of non-fiction books.A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ozan grew up in a family of no English speakers. He learned English . . . . .

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved intellectual challenges. I was the kid in my middle school class who raised his hand and took the unpopular view, or annoyed my teachers with incessant “why” questions. I’ve incorporated that outlook to my professional career . . . . . .

I save the most valuable content exclusively for the subscribers to my newsletter. So if you don’t want to miss out, please sign up using the button below. As an added bonus, you’ll get an exclusive copy of a chapter from my forthcoming book, The Democratic Coup d’État . . . . .

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text.