Archive | quotes

The Firewood Fallacy

Whenever an expert makes a claim they cannot support with data, I’m reminded of the firewood fallacy. Firewood fallacy is a term I coined earlier in my career after being frustrated by how many organizations suffer from group think. Decisions are often made based on institutional knowledge or hearsay, rather than independent research or data….

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The Pygmalion Effect in Business

In 1965 two researchers conducted a now-famous experiment in a public elementary school, dubbed Pygmalion in the classroom. The researchers told teachers that about one-fifth of their students were unusually intelligent (so-called “growth spurters”), based on results of a fictitious IQ test. Even though the gifted students were seemingly chosen at random, these students performed…

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Change Is The Only Constant

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. This optimistic quote is frequently attributed to Theodor Geisel (aka the popular children’s author, Dr. Seuss). In fact, the saying likely pre-dates him by 100 years and should be attributed to the poet Ludwig Jacobowski. Regardless of the true origin, it’s a useful quote to pull…

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You should embrace Hanlon’s Razor

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. This colorful phrase, called Hanlon’s Razor, explains that people aren’t always out to get us; sometimes they just make mistakes. It’s a practical application of Occam’s Razor which states that, everything else being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best one. Hanlon’s…

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Unleash Your Inner William Gibson

Welcome to the future. It is a common complaint that we were promised jetpacks and flying cars but all we got was… something less cool. But the complaints are mostly unwarranted. Things that seemed like science fiction not long ago are now commonplace (or soon will be): under-the-skin GPS, 3D printing, hoverboards, lab-grown leather, self-heating…

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