“There is no chance that the iPhone will get any significant market share. No chance” – Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 2007
Predicting the future has become quite difficult in the world we live in. Change seems to me to be accelerating. It’s to the point where much of even the near future is largely unknowable.
I’ve been thinking about decision-making in this environment and have begun some research projects to explore what others are thinking as well. One of the people I’m following is Shane Parrish, the author of the Farnam Street blog:
can’t articulate what we want. Sometimes we don’t know. Sometimes there is so much uncertainty that the best approach is to attempt to avoid certain outcomes rather than attempt to guide towards the ones we desire. In short, we don’t always know what we want but we know what we don’t want.” – Shane Parrish
This approach is the “Via Negativa” approach described by Nassim Taleb in his books “Antifragile” and “The Black Swan”. It’s also the concept behind this famous story about Michelangelo. Michelangelo was asked by the pope about the secret of his genius, particularly how he carved the statue of David, largely considered the masterpiece of all masterpieces. His answer was: “It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.”
has many similar ideas, tips, and little “Jedi mind tricks” that I’ve begun calling “Empowered Thinking”. I’ll have more to say about this topic in future posts.
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