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Why You Shouldn't Slog Through Books

What Good Reading Means

You don’t have to slog through the books that you don’t find interesting. You must pursue your curiosities. This is by far the most important principle of good reading. This keeps you reading and it keeps you curious.

Read what seems interesting to you now and to let your curiosities grow organically. A lifelong interest in gaining knowledge will lead you down so many paths, but you should never need to force yourself to read anything unless there is a specific reason for it.

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The importance of focusing on the similarities
The importance of focusing on the similarities

When we look at situations, we prefer to look for what is distinct. Instead, we should pay attention to the similarities.

The four words "this time is differen...

What happens when we see only the differences

When we focus on the differences, we lose touch with the evidence that the similarities point out. The history of a matter provides context.

  • Consider investors and the dotcom bubble. People saw it as unique. We reasoned that everything would change, and everyone who owned internet companies would prosper. Suddenly profits didn't matter, nor revenue. We thought it would come in time. Market share mattered regardless of the cost to acquire it.
  • We got caught up in the differences and forgot to look at what was the same. Had we looked at the massively transformational industries, such as automobiles, we would've seen that of all the 70 different auto manufacturing operations in the United States, only 3 survived.
Publilius Syrus

"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm."

Publilius Syrus
When Things Go Well

Just like a chain is only as good as its weakest link, a product or service is only as good as they are when they malfunction or break.

We all are programmed to focus on the winning streak, skyrocketing valuation, and great success. What is more instructive and enlightening is to observe what happens during the rough times.

How Companies Behave During Crises

From a customer's standpoint, the reputation of a company is made or broken during the time there is a problem or a crisis.

If a faulty product or service results in endless customer care calls that lead nowhere or jumping legal loops, then the customers will take their business to some other company.

The quality of our decisions
The quality of our decisions

We all make decisions. However, few of us realize that the process we use to make decisions is more important than the analysis we put into the decision.

Analysis doesn't always lead to good decisions

When it comes to decisions, organizations rely on gathering data and analyzing the decision. People believe that analysis reduces biases, but most business decisions made this way turned out to be poor decisions.

Research shows that good analysis from managers who have good judgment won't necessarily produce good decisions.

Process over analysis in decision making

Analysis alone does not yield good decisions as the people who put it together have a subconscious bias and interest in a particular outcome.

Instead, a disciplined decision process involves guarding against decision-making biases by exploring and discussing major uncertainties or discussing contradictory viewpoints.