Jul 16, 2017

The Sutherland Heuristic

Speaking of government nudging, Ogilvy Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland says:
"Essentially, you should try persuasion first, bribery second, and legislation third. 
"What tends to happen in government, because it's their natural mode of approach, is they tend to use legislation first before they've even tried persuasion. The point is that legislation is a blunter instrument than persuasion. 
"One of the beautiful attributes of persuasion is people can always give a good reason and choose not to be persuaded. No reputational or other costs are incurred so long as your reason for opting out is generally acceptable."
Source: "Things to Hang on Your Mental Mug Tree," Edge.org

Sutherland Defines Economics

"Economics is the study of human motivation but with all the interesting variables set to zero, other than greed or prudence. Everything else is set to zero."

- Rory Sutherland, vice chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Group

Jun 19, 2017

The Limits of Wealth

"Humanity is limited in how much it can indulge, how many meals a person can eat, how many toys a child can play with, how much horsepower a car can generate before it becomes airborne. A neighbor of mine in Sao Paulo built a house that reminds me of a South American dictator’s compound ...

"But in winter he’ll huddle in the tiny TV room on the second floor, withdrawing from the cavernous rooms to seek a more human scale."

- Ricardo Semler, The Seven-Day Weekend

Jun 17, 2017

Bacon on Confirmation Bias

"The human understanding, once it has adopted opinions, either because they were already accepted and believed, or because it likes them, draws everything else to support and agree with them. And though it may meet a greater number and weight of contrary instances, it will, with great and harmful prejudice, ignore or condemn or exclude them by introducing some distinction, in order that the authority of those earlier assumptions may remain intact and unharmed."

-  Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620

On Booking Travel

"People have different heuristics, in behavioural economics language. Some people will want to get there as fast as possible, some people will want it as comfortable as possible. Because people have these different heuristics, I always think allowing someone else to book your travel is a terrible mistake because they may have totally different heuristics to you."

 - Rory Sutherland, vice chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Group