Tag Archives: psychology

Paradox of Choice Versus The Long Tail

“The conventional wisdom was right: More choice really is better. But now we know that variety alone is not enough; we also need information about that variety and what other consumers before us have done with the same choices. Google, with its seemingly omniscient ability to order the infinite chaos of the Web so that what we want comes out on top, shows the way. The paradox of choice turns out to be more about the poverty of help in making that choice than a rejection of plenty. Order it wrong and choice is oppressive; order it right and it’s liberating.”


Being Great Means Creating Our Lives Actively

“Great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day. They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives. Their lives are spent living out the vision they have of their future, in the present. They compare what they’ve done with what they intended to do. And where there’s a disparity between the two, they don’t wait very long to make up the difference.

“They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.

“I believe it’s true that the difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next.

“The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.

“Let me repeat once more that great quote by Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Peace: ‘The difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that the warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse.'”

How Entrepreneurs Think: The Entrepreneurial Personality

“So the work of an Entrepreneur is to wonder…to imagine and to dream. To see with as much of herself as she can muster the possibilities that waft about in midair someplace there above her head and within her heart. Not in the past but in the future. That’s the work the entrepreneurial personality does at the outset of her business and at each and every stage along the way. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder. Just as every inventor must. Just as every composer must. Just as every artist, or every craftperson, or every physicist must. Just as every baker of pies must. I call it Future Work. ‘I wonder’ is the true work of the entrepreneurial personality.” (p. 33)

Getting People to Accept Statistical / Data Mining Approaches

“There’s almost an iron-clad law that it’s easier for people to warm up to applications of Super Crunching outside of their own area of expertise. It’s devilishly hard for traditional, non-empirical evaluators to even consider the possibility that quantified predictions might do a better job than they can on their own home turf. I don’t think this is primarily because of blatant self-interest in trying to keep our jobs. We humans just overestimate our ability to make good decisions and we’re skeptical that a formula that necessarily ignores innumerable pieces of information could do a better job than we could.” (p. 150)

Humans Are Bad At Making Predictions

“The human mind tends to suffer from a number of well-documented cognitive failings and biases that distort our ability to predict accurately. We tend to give too much weight to unusual events that seem salient…Once we form a mistaken belief about something, we tend to cling to it. As new evidence arrives, we’re likely to discount disconfirming evidence and focus instead on evidence that supports our preexisting beliefs.” (p. 112)