Brody MacLean

#book

Thinking in Bets

These are my notes & quotes on ideas and concepts I found interesting from Thinking In Bets. Buy the book →

Over time, those world-class poker players taught me to understand what a bet really is: a decision about an uncertain future. The implications of treating decisions as bets made it possible for me to find learning opportunities in uncertain environments. Treating decisions as bets, I discovered, helped me avoid common decision traps, learn from results in a more rational way, and keep emotions out of the process as much as possible.

Thinking in bets starts with recognizing that there are exactly two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck. Learning to recognize the difference between the two is what thinking in bets is all about.

Pete Carroll was a victim of our tendency to equate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. Poker players have a word for this: “resulting.” When I started playing poker, more experienced players warned me about the dangers of resulting, cautioning me to resist the temptation to change my strategy just because a few hands didn’t turn out well in the short run.

Hindsight bias is the tendency, after an outcome is known, to see the outcome as having been inevitable. When we say, “I should have known that would happen,” or, “I should have seen it coming,” we are succumbing to hindsight bias.

Remote: No Office Required

In thirty years’ time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed.
— Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

The time is right for remote work

Why work doesn’t happen at work

If you ask people where they go when they really need to get work done, very few will respond “the office.” If they do say the office, they’ll include a qualifier such as “super early in the morning before anyone gets in” or “I stay late at night after everyone’s left” or “I sneak in on the weekend.” What they’re trying to tell you is that they can’t get work done at work. The office during the day has become the last place people want to be when they really want to get work done. That’s because offices have become interruption factories. A busy office is like a food processor— it chops your day into tiny bits. Fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there, twenty here, five there.

Even short commutes stab at your happiness. According to the research, commuting is associated with an increased risk of obesity, insomnia, stress, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, and other stress-related ills such as heart attacks and depression, and even divorce.

Say you spend thirty minutes driving in rush hour every morning and another fifteen getting to your car and into the office. That’s 1.5 hours a day, 7.5 hours per week, or somewhere between 300 and 400 hours per year, give or take holidays and vacation. Four hundred hours is exactly the amount of programmer time we spent building Basecamp, our most popular product. Imagine what you could do with 400 extra hours a year. Commuting isn’t just bad for you, your relationships, and the environment—it’s bad for business.

Stop commuting your life away

According to the research,* commuting is associated with an increased risk of obesity, insomnia, stress, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, and other stress-related ills such as heart attacks and depression, and even divorce.

Reinventing Organizations

Reinventing Organizations

Adopt a whole different set of management principles and practices.

Reinventing Organizations by Frédéric Laloux comes highly recommended by Buffer’s, co-founder & CEO, Joel Gascoigne, so much so that it’s a prerequisite read for new hires at the startup.

  1. You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
  2. The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence. It is to act with yesterday’s logic.
  3. Seeing is not believing, believing is seeing. You see things, not as they are, but as you are.
  4. Humanity evolves in stages. We are not like a tree that grows consistently, but like a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly.
  5. Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.
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