Stop thinking ‘failure’ is a bad thing

James DysonMost of us are brought up being encouraged to get things right. Although ‘fail fast, fail hard’ has become a Silicon Valley motto, it’s anathema to most of us.

And yet doing things wrong is great, because you learn from your mistakes (and no, that’s not meant to be a cliche).

Take James Dyson, King of Making Failure Pay. He famously made 5,126 versions of his Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner before he reached the magic version that has turned him into a very wealthy and successful man. Continue reading

Why reading is good for you

In her New Yorker article about bibliotherapy, Ceridwen Dovey touches on the notion that reading can make you happier.

Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.

So, put down your phone and pick up a book (or at the very least your Kindle).

Is there wisdom in crowds?

I’m a huge fan of Shane Parrish’s Farnam Street blog and in a great post about how to make good decisions, he talks about the power (or not) of the crowd:

Is there a wisdom of crowds? Some say yes, others say no. My view is that crowds can be very useful if individual members of the crowd are able to vote independently or if the environment is such that there are few repercussions for voicing disagreement. Otherwise, I think signaling effects from seeing how others are “voting” is too much evolutionary force to overcome with sheer rational willpower.

In other words, the herd mentality often outweighs the benefit of lots of views.