3 Ways You Are Better Than A.I.

I’ve been reading a book called, “The Armchair Economist,” by Steven E. Landsburg. It kind of reads like a slightly more academic prequel to Freakonomics, having been published a decade earlier in 1993, but still using economic principles to explain different things about the world, many of them counterintuitive. Things like… Why celebrity endorsements increase sales, even when the endorsements convey no information about the product. (p. 14) Why a world where paper is recycled results in a world with fewer trees. (p. 98) Why believing that Amazon’s (or any large […] Click to read more…

Freeze Frame

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the freezer in our basement. It did everything we asked of it, which was to just sit there quietly and keep things frozen. But, it was a top-loaded box and after five years reaching down into it whenever we needed something, my wife Linda and I decided to replace it with an upright freezer – something with shelves and a door in front. The day after it arrived, I listed the old freezer on Craigslist for $65, about half of what it goes for new. The response? […] Click to read more…

Three Wrong Things

My wife, Linda, has two brothers and a sister. One in Vermont, one in Pennsylvania, one (like us) in Massachusetts. We are near enough to one another to get together for a weekend, but too far away for unplanned visits, a chance arrangement that has served us well over the years. But we do have fun together. So, now that all children are grown and out of the house, the eight of us – each sibling and their respective partner – try to meet every year someplace more or less in […] Click to read more…

Color-Coded Marketing

Among my many rules of life – never pass up the chance to charge your phone or to pee; never shop for food when you are hungry; pet every dog available – is this one: No book goes on the shelf until I have read it. The benefit of this rule is that my office shelves serve as a great resource, whether I need a refresher on a particular concept or a quote for a presentation. Plus, it’s nice to look at the books and know I’ve read every one of them. […] Click to read more…

Predictable Unpredictability

Did you see the eclipse last week? We drove to Burlington, Vermont to stay with my wife’s brother for a couple of days to watch it. It was spectacular; without question the second most fun I’ve ever had in three-and-a-half minutes. Afterwards, it occurred to me that an eclipse is kind of the exact opposite of life as an independent professional.  Reason #1. An Eclipse is an All-Encompassing Event I knew it would be big. But as the day drew closer, I was still surprised by how much it took over everything: […] Click to read more…