think-like-a-freak-book-cover-freakonomics-relationshipsI attended hosted by Dave McClure of 500 Startups in San Francisco and on the way back bought the book at the airport bookstore titled “Think Like A Freak” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner of the Freakonomics fame. I thought it was quite interesting and makes you think differently about things and observations. I believe this is important in everything we do as we are trained by our environment to think the same way as everyone. Thinking IMHO is the most underappreciated, high impact and often neglected activity that we all do. I don’t know about you but blogging is my best tool to think, it allows me to frame my thinking. I think Brad Feld wrote about this a short while back.

I like the way the authors tackle small issues but use that to change your thinking for larger issues as well. I like the economic thinking given all the bad rap the profession of economics has been getting based on the financial collapse. A lot of what they write about is behavioral economics with data to validate the hypothesis, they are quick to point out that Correlation does not necessarily imply Causation, which I believe in. Correlation = Causation is a huge problem in our thinking process. In addition, they are plain to admit that they don’t know why some things work the way they do. To summarize, it is a good quick read and makes you want to think differently.

Here are some of the main take aways to think like a freak:

  1. First, put away your moral compass – because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it.

  2. Learn to say “I Don’t Know” – for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to.

  3. Think like a child – because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions.

  4. Take a Master Class in Incentives – because for better or worse, incentives rule our world.

  5. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded – because being right is rarely enough to carry the day

  6. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting – because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you are’nt willing to abandon today’s dud.

I think it is a good easy summer read. Check it out and let me know what you think.