CategoryNotes

Jeff Bezos’s annual shareholder letters are always worth reading, and this year’s is no exception. My highlights:

  1. Resist proxies. For example, process often becomes a proxy for the outcome you want. You end up making sure you’re just doing the process right instead of looking at outcomes, and improving the process when it fails.
  2. Most decisions should be made with ~70% of the information you wish you had. If you’re good at course correcting (recognizing and correcting bad decisions), being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is expensive for sure.
  3. Use the phrase “disagree and commit.” A genuine disagreement of opinion AND a quick sincere commitment.

Book Notes: But What If We’re Wrong?

Takeaways

  1. Obsessives (who actively elevate culture) and amateurs (who have limited cultural attention) have an outsized impact on what history eventually considers “significant” culture.
  2. If mankind can believe something false for 2000 years (e.g. gravity), we shouldn’t assume our current “truths” will endure.
  3. Society is uncomfortable identifying specific truths that will be disproven, even if they agree with the inevitability of collective wrongness.

© 2017 Ian Bennett Alas

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