Book Discussion: Checklist Manifesto

Monday April 10, 2017

Humans are fallible. This idea is the theme of the past three books I've read. Pitch Anything focuses on the idea that people typically make decisions at an instinct level rather than analytically. The Undoing Project shows how humans are heuristic machines, and while the heuristics are right in many cases, they are systematically wrong in others. The Checklist Manifesto prescribes fixes for the limited capacity of our memory and problem-solving ability.

I'm already familiar with the effectiveness of checklists …

Book Notes: The Undoing Project

Tuesday March 21, 2017

Humans are fallible. Importantly however, humans are fallible in predictable ways. That is the main argument of The Undoing Project, and the elucidation of the specific ways we are fallible makes this book one that is worth reading.

These notes are part original and part passages from the book.


The Israeli military measures the performance of their fighter pilot training programs. They discover that pilots perform better after criticism and worse after praise. What is the problem with this …

Book Notes: Pitch Anything

Thursday March 16, 2017

Pitch Anything is a highly entertaining, and based on the anecdotes from this book, highly effective, sales book.

The methods described are evocative of pick-up artist book "The Game" and might not sit well with everyone. People should learn the sales style that works most effectively for themselves.

These notes are part original and part passages from the book.

Core Idea

The core idea in the book is that everything gets filtered through the limbic system (aka "croc" brain). If …

Dark Money

Sunday May 29, 2016

Dark Money is a both a roller coaster tale and an effective playbook of political influence. It tells the story of the Koch brother’s legacy on both the dialogue of American politics and the platform of the republican party. It made me realize that significant changes to our political landscape (e.g. rise of the Tea Party, Citizens United case) were not random developments in our nation’s history, but were events engineered to occur. It made me realize …

Lessons from Confidence Game

Thursday December 25, 2014
  • You can't win really big on Wall Street
  • Eliminating risk and access to capital are products just like any app or technology
  • Know what you're talking about instead of following the hype, and take the advice of such people

As exciting as the tech world is, it's good to know something about the world that goes on outside that bubble. I just finished reading Confidence Game on the recommendation of my friend @JakeCahan. If you never understood in-depth …

Musings on Zero to One

Sunday October 12, 2014

There are clearly a lot of smart ideas in this book. My favorite good ideas from the book

  1. Realize how common power laws are
  2. Importance of reasoning from first principles and following logic
  3. Importance of monopoly.
  4. Necessity of comparative advantage or Secret
  5. Categorize thinking in terms of in/definite pessimism/optimism.

My biggest take-away is thinking about power laws, and the implications of that. As one example, it's better to be an employee of an amazing company than the founder …