“The secret to Keynes’s eventual profits is that he changed his approach. He abandoned macroeconomic forecasting entirely. Instead, he sought out well-managed companies with strong dividend yields, and held on to them for the long term. This approach is now associated with Warren Buffett, who quotes Keynes’s investment maxims with approval. But the key insight is that the strategy does not require macroeconomic predictions. Keynes, the most influential macroeconomist in history, realised not only that such forecasts were beyond his skill but that they were unnecessary.”
Tim Harford. “How to see into the future.”
“I’ve found that one of the most striking things when I joined Facebook was that a lot of the conversation at that company is not about technology. It’s actually about social science and psychology. You know, Bill mentioned earlier being able to look outside your industry. I think that’s really, really important. If you’re trying to build a meaningful company and solve a meaningful problem and something that makes people’s lives better and something that people care about, you need to look at real life. It’s the best proxy, it turns out, for online life.”
“A number of studies have found fame (or salience or familiarity) to be a key driver of brand growth, but this essay argues it has become even more important in the digital era. Brand fame is defined as many people having a high quantity of high quality brand associations. Fame can be self-perpetuating, as brands which are talked about become even more talked about, creating cumulative advantage. In order to avoid short-lived fame, brands should create fame from both ‘statics’ (constants the brand is built on) and ‘flows’ (ever-changing brand activity). Using statics to build fame is particularly important in a world where visibility and chatter have greater cultural value. Cultural congruence, where brands are seamlessly infused in popular culture, is an important part of this.”
“Our mental image of balance is somewhat distorted because we tend to equate it with stillness - the calm repose of a yogi balancing on one leg, a state without apparent motion. To my mind, the more accurate examples of balance come from sports, such as when a basketball player spins around a defender, a running back bursts through the line of scrimmage, or a surfer catches a wave. All of these are extremely dynamic responses to rapidly changing environments.”
“In perhaps the first great works of human psychology, the “De Anima,” Aristotle pronounced touch the most universal of the senses. Even when we are asleep we are susceptible to changes in temperature and noise. Our bodies are always “on.” And touch is the most intelligent sense, Aristotle explained, because it is the most sensitive. When we touch someone or something we are exposed to what we touch. We are responsive to others because we are constantly in touch with them.”