“Profit Wise” Quotes

I recently read “Profit Wise: How To Make More Money In Business By Doing The Right Thing” by Jeff Morrill. Below are the quotes I found most interesting.

“The cost to acquire a new customer is much larger than the cost of satisfying a repeat customer. We organize our processes and pricing around creating customers for life.” (7)

“If you can’t gather enough people with the inclination and ability to do what you ask them to do, then you run a daycare facility instead of a business.” (17)

“You can teach people to drive but you can’t teach them to have drive. You can coach skills but not character.” (21)

“Conduct three interviews before hiring candidates. Multiple interviews provide more opportunities for unprofessional people to reveal their bad habits.” (24)

“Ask candidates to follow up with you. Throughout the process, ask them to call you to set up the next step rather than volunteering to call them. We end each interview with the same request: “After you’ve had an opportunity overnight to consider what we’ve discussed today, please call tomorrow to set up the next interview.” This creates additional opportunities to observe how well they follow instructions, and you’ll save time by not pursuing candidates who have lost interest.” (25)

“You can coach your team, but let them solve problems on their own. If you still have to make all the decisions, you’re holding them and your company back.” (45)

“The more authority given to a position, the more harm outside hires can do to your culture because they have more power to screw things up. We believe in growing and promoting our own team members so we know exactly what kind of people are making the important decisions for the company.” (48)

“Don Beyer, Jr., told me that a key to growing older is not learning how to do more with less, but rather less with less. In other words, choose fewer ambitions, more carefully.” (100)

“William James counseled, “The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.” (104)

“Don’t postpone joy or suffer too much in the vain hope that someday you can rest on your achievements, a situation Warren Buffett compared to “saving up sex for old age.” (104)

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“The Night Of The Gun” Quotes

I recently read The Night of the Gun by David Carr. Below are the quotes I found interesting. If you like the quotes, buy the book.

The historical self is created to keep dissonance at bay and render the subject palatable in the present. (8)

Tucked in safe suburban redoubts, kids who had it soft like me manufactured peril. When there is no edge, we make our own. (18)

The pub theory of life, that we are all of a common fabric once we have a pint in our hands. (55)

When I got in jams, got divorced, got fired, slipped after treatment, my mother said the same thing: “You are mine. We choose you no matter what.” (75)

By my reckoning, you are issued about a dozen friends in life, and if one of mine happens to be in a prison jumpsuit, well, better him than me, but that doesn’t erase the bond. (87)

As Daniel L. Schacter wrote in The Seven Sins of Memory, “We often edit or entirely rewrite our previous experiences—unknowingly or unconsciously—in light of what we now know or believe.” (115)

The chronicity of addiction is really a kind of fatalism writ large. 

Call on God, but row away from the rocks. —HUNTER S. THOMPSON (171)

Fate and circumstance, along with a willingness to punch in, is often all that separates the lucky from the luckless. (176)

I had no idea what I was doing, but children teach you how to parent them. (184)

Like most single parents, I was constantly impaled on a fence between making money to meet my kids’ physical needs and being present to meet their emotional ones. (200)

All the theological debate seemed at one remove, and a higher power was in our midst simply because we needed one to be there. (200)

Having been in rooms with people I owed money to—people who had guns and unknown intent—working in an office where people gossiped about what an idiot I was did not make a strong impression. (258)

Memories may be based on what happened to begin with, but they are reconstituted each time they are recalled—with the most-remembered events frequently the least accurate. What one is remembering is the memory, not the event. (266)

Remembering is an act of assertion as much as recollection. (266)

Los Angeles, where people rise and fall based on some secret chart, New York is a place where the wiring diagram is very visible and fundamentally, oddly, just. If you are good at what you do, work hard, and don’t back down, you can make a place to stand on the island. (269)

We all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end any time soon. When I started trying to remember who I was, I bought an external hard drive, a piece of technology that is designed to preserve the past. (309)

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Cory Doctorow Quotes

I recently read a bunch of Cory Doctorow books. While I enjoyed all of them, no book had enough quotes to create a separate post for each, but I still found them interesting and wanted to share them, so here are combined quotes for “With A Little Help”, “For The Win”, “Pirate Cinema” and “Little Brother.” If you like the quotes, please buy the books.

With a Little Help 

“He’d been a bright 14 year old, a genius at 16, a rising star at 18, and a failure by 21.” Location 327-328

For the Win

The fat and comfortable world he’d grown up in was not permanent; scratched in the sand, not carved in stone. Location 1308-1309 

Here’s the dirty secret about gold: there is more gold available through certificates of deposit than has ever been dug out of the ground.” Location 2518-2519 

The important thing about a game isn’t how fun it is, it’s how easy it is to start playing and how hard it is to stop.” Location 2549-2549 

“It’s because if a man is successful at doing one thing, he’s apt to assume that he’ll be successful at anything. He believes he’s a Brahmin, divinely gifted with the wisdom and strength of character to succeed. He can’t bear the thought that he just got lucky.” Location 3464-3466 

“Ghandi admitted to beating his wife. He was a great man, but not a saint.” Location 4677-4677 

Dollars are measures of value, not value itself. If you double the amount of currency in circulation, you double the price of everything on Earth. The amount of stuff is fixed, the amount of currency isn’t. Location 4907-4908 

Pirate Cinema

If you want to double your success rate, triple your failure rate.Location 700-700

if we’re being honest, it’s easy to define creativity: it’s doing something that isn’t obvious.” Location 4320-4320 

In my mind, Bradford had been a remote village with the cosmopolitan sophistication of a pig-sty. Location 4707-4708 

Some people are great artists — I think all my mates were, of one kind or another — but it takes a special kind of person to be a great audience. Location 7230-7231 

Little Brother

One in a million people has Super-AIDS. If you test a million random people, you’ll probably only find one case of real Super-AIDS. But your test won’t identify one person as having Super-AIDS. It will identify 10,000 people as having it. Your 99 percent accurate test will perform with 99.99 percent inaccuracy. Location 1780-1783 

The police and the demonstrators fought in the streets — they’d done that many times before, but the Chicago cops didn’t have the smarts to leave the reporters alone. They beat up the reporters, and the reporters retaliated by finally showing what really went on at these demonstrations, so the whole country watched their kids being really savagely beaten down by the Chicago police. They called it a ‘police riot.’ Location 2437-2440 

Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.'” Location 2471-2474 

“Because it seems to me that the founders of this country said that governments should only last for so long as we believe that they’re working for us, and if we stop believing in them, we should overthrow them. That’s what it says, right?” Location 2482-2483 

There is a term for this dysfunction — it is called an autoimmune disease, where an organism’s defense system goes into overdrive so much that it fails to recognize itself and attacks its own cells. Ultimately, the organism self-destructs. Location 4944-4945 

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“Indistractable” Quotes

I recently read “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” by Nir Eyal. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book.

Samuel Johnson said, “My life is one long escape from myself.” (27)

“we must disavow the misguided idea that if we’re not happy, we’re not normal—exactly the opposite is true.” (31)

“Dweck concluded that signs of ego depletion were observed only in those test subjects who believed willpower was a limited resource.” (43)

“Labeling yourself as having poor self-control actually leads to less self-control.” (45)

“people who have “a positive and caring attitude . . . toward her- or himself in the face of failures and individual shortcomings” tend to be happier.” (45)

Another study found that people’s tendency to self-blame, along with how much they ruminated on a problem, could almost completely mediate the most common factors associated with depression and anxiety. (45)

An individual’s level of self-compassion had a greater effect on whether they would develop anxiety and depression than all the usual things that tend to screw up people’s lives, like traumatic life events, a family history of mental illness, low social status, or a lack of social support. (45)

Whether I’m able to fall asleep at any given moment or whether a breakthrough idea for my next book comes to me when I sit down at my desk isn’t entirely up to me, but one thing is for certain: I won’t do what I want to do if I’m not in the right place at the right time, whether that’s in bed when I want to sleep or at my desk when I want to do good work. Not showing up guarantees failure. (55)

To make sure we always have something fun to do, we spent one afternoon writing down over a hundred things to do together in town, each one on a separate little strip of paper. Then, we rolled up all the little strips and placed them inside our “fun jar.” (57)

“my wife bought a hard-to-miss headpiece on Amazon for just a few dollars. She calls it the “concentration crown,” and the built-in LEDs light up her head to send an impossible-to-ignore message. When she wears it, she’s clearly letting our daughter (and me) know not to interrupt her unless it’s an emergency. It works like a charm.” (76)

“I’m not telling you to tag emails by topic or categories, only by when the message requires a response.” (83)

When I taught at the Stanford design school, I consistently saw how teams who brainstormed individually before coming together not only generated better ideas but were also more likely to have a wider diversity of solutions as they were less likely to be overrun by the louder, more dominating members of the group. (88)

Ryan and Deci proposed the human psyche needs three things to flourish: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. (147)

According to Rogoff, “It may be the case that children give up control of their attention when it’s always managed by an adult.”(149)

Robert Epstein, the researcher who wrote “The Myth of the Teen Brain” in Scientific American, has a similar conclusion: “Surveys I have conducted show that teens in the U.S. are subjected to more than ten times as many restrictions as are mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines, and even twice as many restrictions as incarcerated felons.” (149)

Somehow, as a society, we have come to the conclusion that to protect children from danger and to educate them, we must deprive them of the very activity that makes them happiest and place them for ever more hours in settings where they are more or less continually directed and evaluated by adults, settings almost designed to produce anxiety and depression. (152)

The more you talk with your kids about the costs of too much tech use and the more you make decisions with them, as opposed to for them, the more willing they will be to listen to your guidance. (153)

Phubbing, a portmanteau of phone and snubbing, means “to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device.” (170)

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“The Biggest Bluff” Quotes

I recently read “The Biggest Bluff” by Maria Konnikova. Below are the quotes I found most interesting (using Kindle locations). If you like the quotes, buy the book.

I wanted to disentangle just how much of where I’d ended up had been my own doing as opposed to a twist of fate—like so many before me, I wanted to know how much of my life I could take credit for and how much was just stupid luck. (Location 192-194)

Because they thought they knew more than they did, they ignored any signs to the contrary—especially when, as inevitably happens in real stock markets, winners became losers and vice versa. In other words, the illusion of control is what prevented real control over the game from emerging—and before long, the quality of people’s decisions deteriorated.(Location 218-220)

People failed to see what the world was telling them when that message wasn’t one they wanted to hear. They liked being the rulers of their environment.(Location 222-223 )

Here was the cruel truth: we humans too often think ourselves in firm control when we are really playing by the rules of chance. (Location 223-224)

But here’s what psychologists find, over and over: you can show people all the charts you want, but that won’t change their perceptions of the risks or their resulting decisions. What will change their minds? Going through an event themselves, or knowing someone who has. (Location 239-241)

Our experiences trump everything else, but mostly, those experiences are incredibly skewed: they teach us, but they don’t teach us well. It’s why disentangling chance from skill is so difficult in everyday decisions: it’s a statistical undertaking, and one we are not normally equipped to deal with. (Location 247-249)

If there’s anything Mom taught me, it’s that life has no concept of fairness. It’s just tough luck. Deal with it. (Location 258-258)

Luck surrounds us, everywhere—from something as mundane as walking to work and getting there safely to the other extreme, like surviving a war or a terrorist attack when others mere inches away weren’t as fortunate. But we only notice it when things don’t go our way. We don’t often question the role of chance in the moments it protects us from others and ourselves. When chance is on our side, we disregard it: it is invisible. But when it breaks against us, we wake to its power. We begin to reason about its whys and hows. (Location 280-284)

Life is based on making the best decisions you can from information that can never be complete. (Location 318-319)

When the economist Ingo Fiedler analyzed hundreds of thousands of hands played on several online poker sites over a six-month period, he found that the actual best hand won, on average, only 12 percent of the time and that less than a third of hands went to showdown. (Location 528-530)

Understanding probability wasn’t enough to tame the luck factor. (Location 630-631)

Be solid, fundamentally. Cultivate the solid image. And then add the hyper-aggression, but at the right place and the right time. Not always, not continuously, but thinkingly. (Location 786-787)

“You become a big winner when you lose,” Dan says. “Everyone plays well when they’re winning. But can you control yourself and play well when you’re losing? And not by being too conservative, but trying to still be objective as to what your chances are in the hand. If you can do that, then you’ve conquered the game.” (Location 840-842)

When it comes to learning, Triumph is the real foe; it’s Disaster that’s your teacher. It’s Disaster that brings objectivity. It’s Disaster that’s the antidote to that greatest of delusions, overconfidence. (Location 870-871)

We lose early, we have a shot at objectivity. (Location 884)

While practice is not enough and there’s not even close to a magic number for its effectiveness, you also cannot learn if you do not practice. (Location 964-965)

And the thing I’m worried about? Not whether I’m thinking through this correctly, but whether or not I look weak. A good commander never cares what others are thinking. Perception matters only insofar as you’re using it strategically to shape your image for future actions. (Location 1134-1135)

Hanging back only seems like an easy solution. In truth, it can be the seed of far bigger problems. (Location 1403)

You want to be a good player, you must acknowledge that you’re not “due”—for good cards, good karma, good health, money, love, or whatever else it is. Probability has amnesia: each future outcome is completely independent of the past. (Location 1520-1521)

The relationship between our awareness of chance and our skill is a U-curve. No skill: chance looms high. Relatively high skill: chance recedes. Expert level: you once again see your shortcomings and realize that no matter your skill level, chance has a strong role to play. (Location 1594-1596)

“You never can tell whether bad luck may not after all turn out to be good luck. . . . One must never forget when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse; or that when you make some great mistake, it may very easily serve you better than the best-advised decision.” WINSTON CHURCHILL, “MY EARLY LIFE,” 1930 Location 1617-1620 

“Focus on the process, not the luck. Did I play correctly? Everything else is just BS in our heads,” (Location 1840-1841)

How we frame something affects not just our thinking but our emotional state. (Location 1844)

A victim: The cards went against me. Things are being done to me, things are happening around me, and I am neither to blame nor in control. A victor: I made the correct decision. Sure, the outcome didn’t go my way, but I thought correctly under pressure. And that’s the skill I can control. (Location 1853-1855)

“Luck dampener effect: because you’re wallowing in your misfortune, you fail to see the things you could be doing to overcome it.” (Location 1859-1860)

If you think of yourself instead as an almost-victor who thought correctly and did everything possible but was foiled by crap variance? No matter: you will have other opportunities, and if you keep thinking correctly, eventually it will even out. (Location 1862-1863)

“If a man look sharply, and attentively, he shall see Fortune: for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.” FRANCIS BACON, “OF FORTUNE,” 1625 (Location 1890-1892)

“In everything, stability and support are important components in success.” (Location 1925)

You’re not lucky because more good things are actually happening; you’re lucky because you’re alert to them when they do. (Location 2050-2051) 

How often do we go off on someone for making a decision that we, personally, wouldn’t have made, calling them an idiot, fuming, getting angry? How much time and emotional energy we’d save if we simply learned to ask ourselves why they acted as they did, rather than judge, make presumptions, and react. (Location 2206-2208)

The better you get, the worse you are—because the flaws that you wouldn’t even think of looking at before are now visible and need to be addressed. (Location 2625-2626)

It’s important not to let a minor victory lull you into thinking you’re doing great, when all you’re doing is better than before but not good enough to actually make it count. (Location 2628-2629)

That we often don’t really know why we make decisions—and we justify them with objective-sounding reasons even when, in reality, we were acting based on faulty intuitive reads. (Location 2750-2751)

“A lot of people think that acting robotic at the table is the best way to conceal tells. It’s actually the worst way,” (Location 2937-2938)

Mastery is always a struggle for balance. How much time do you devote to the craft, and how much to yourself? And can you really do one without the other?(Location 3108-3109)

Never feel like you have to do something just because it’s expected of you—even if you’re the one who expects it of you. Know when to step back. Know when to recalibrate. Know when you need to reassess your strategy, prior plans be damned. (Location 3329-3331)

“You need to think in terms of preparation. Don’t worry about hoping. Just do.” (Location 3447-3448)

If our attention is drawn to the actual cause of our mood, it stops having an effect. (Location 3477)

Think of your game as a resting inchworm divided into three sections, A, B, and C, Jared tells me. A is my best game. It is infrequent—I have to be at my peak to achieve it. C is my worst game, which should, at least in theory, also be infrequent. The B game is the bell curve part of the inchworm. It’s the longest and most visible part. To improve my game, I need to move my bell curve the way that an inchworm moves, slowly pushing so that my C game becomes my B game, my A game drifts to B, and an even better A game takes its place. (Location 3507-3511)

I know all the places to go that will give us a more genuine Vegas experience. Here’s a cheat sheet. For sushi, Yui and Kabuto. For dinner close to the Rio, the Fat Greek, Peru Chicken, and Sazón. For when I’m feeling nostalgic for the jerk chicken of my local Crown Heights spots, Big Jerk. Lola’s for Cajun. Milos, but only for lunch. El Dorado for late-night poker sessions. Partage to celebrate. Lotus of Siam to drown your sorrows in delightful Thai. (Location 4294-4297)

We have won the impossible, improbable lottery of birth. And we don’t know what will happen. We never can. There’s no skill in birth and death. At the beginning and at the end, luck reigns unchallenged. (Location 4411-4412)

Here’s the truth: most of the world is noise, and we spend most of our lives trying to make sense of it. (Location 4412-4413)

You can’t control what will happen, so it makes no sense to try to guess at it. Chance is just chance: it is neither good nor bad nor personal. Without us to supply meaning, it’s simple noise. The most we can do is learn to control what we can—our thinking, our decision processes, our reactions. (Location 4420-4422)

Nothing is all skill. Ever. I shy away from absolutes, but this one calls out for my embrace. Because life is life, luck will always be a factor in anything we might do or undertake. Skill can open up new vistas, new choices, allow us to see the chance that others less skilled than us, less observant or less keen, may miss—but should chance go against us, all our skill can do is mitigate the damage. (Location 4461-4464)

And the biggest bluff of all? That skill can ever be enough. (Location 4464)

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