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Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense by Rory Sutherland
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Alchemy Quotes Showing 1-30 of 59
“the human mind does not run on logic any more than a horse runs on petrol”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“you are not thinking; you are merely being logical”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“It is much easier to be fired for being illogical than it is for being unimaginative. The fatal issue is that logic always gets you to exactly the same place as your competitors.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“Irrational people are much more powerful than rational people, because their threats are so much more convincing.”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“the uber map is a psychological moonshot, because it does not reduce the waiting time for a taxi but simply makes waiting 90% less frustrating”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“Not everything that makes sense works, and not everything that works makes sense.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
“It’s important to remember that big data all comes from the same place – the past. A new campaigning style, a single rogue variable or a ‘black swan’ event can throw the most perfectly calibrated model into chaos.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“when you demand logic, you pay a hidden price: you destroy magic”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“Hillary thinks like an economist, while Donald is a game theorist, and is able to achieve with one tweet what would take Clinton four years of congressional infighting. That’s alchemy; you may hate it, but it works.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“Our conscious mind tries hard to preserve the illusion that it deliberately chose every action you have ever taken; in reality, in many of these decisions it was a bystander at best, and much of the time it did not even notice the decision being made.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
“it is perfectly possible to be both rational and wrong.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“And in reality ‘context’ is often the most important thing in determining how people think, behave and act:”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“The number of people who think they understand statistics dangerously dwarfs those who actually do, and maths can cause fundamental problems when badly used.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
“We don’t value things; we value their meaning. What they are is determined by the laws of physics, but what they mean is determined by the laws of psychology.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“what matters is not whether an idea is true or effective, but whether it fits with the preconceptions of a dominant cabal”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“If you want to solve the problem, you have to understand ‘the real why’.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“all big data comes from the same place: the past. Yet a single change in context can change human behaviour significantly.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“The trouble with market research is that people don’t think what they feel, they don’t say what they think, and they don’t do what they say.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“Many pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
“After all, no big business idea makes sense at first. I mean, just imagine proposing the following ideas to a group of sceptical investors: ‘What people want is a really cool vacuum cleaner.’ (Dyson) ‘. . . and the best part of all this is that people will write the entire thing for free!’ (Wikipedia) ‘. . . and so I confidently predict that the great enduring fashion of the next century will be a coarse, uncomfortable fabric which fades unpleasantly and which takes ages to dry. To date, it has been largely popular with indigent labourers.’ (Jeans) ‘. . . and people will be forced to choose between three or four items.’ (McDonald’s) ‘And, best of all, the drink has a taste which consumers say they hate.’ (Red Bull) ‘. . . and just watch as perfectly sane people pay $5 for a drink they can make at home for a few pence.’ (Starbucks)*”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“For a business to be truly customer-focused, it needs to ignore what people say. Instead it needs to concentrate on what people feel.”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“Some scientists believe that driverless cars will not work unless they learn to be irrational. If such cars stop reliably whenever a pedestrian appears in front of them, pedestrian crossings will be unnecessary and jaywalkers will be able to march into the road, forcing the driverless car to stop suddenly, at great discomfort to its occupants. To prevent this, driverless cars may have to learn to be ‘angry’, and to occasionally maliciously fail to stop in time and strike the pedestrian on the shins.”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“Remember, if you never do anything differently, you’ll reduce your chances of enjoying lucky accidents.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“Evolution is like a brilliant uneducated craftsman: what it lacks in intellect it makes up for in experience.”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“For instance, the victorious Brexit campaign in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in the United States have both been routinely blamed on the clueless and emotional behaviour of undereducated voters, but you could make equally strong cases that the Remain campaign in Britain and Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for the American presidency failed because of the clueless, hyper-rational behaviour of overeducated advisors, who threw away huge natural advantages. At one point we in Britain were even warned that ‘a vote to leave the EU might result in rising labour costs’ – by a highly astute businessman* who was so enraptured with models of economic efficiency that he was clearly unaware most voters would understand a ‘rise in labour costs’ as meaning a ‘pay rise’.”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“asking the real why’.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
“No living creature can evolve and survive in the real world by processing information in an objective, measured and proportionate manner.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
“One problem (of many) with Soviet-style command economies is that they can only work if people know what they want and need, and can define and express their wants adequately. But this is impossible, because not only do people not know what they want, they don’t even know why they like the things they buy. The only way you can discover what people really want (their ‘revealed preferences’, in economic parlance) is through seeing what they actually pay for under a variety of different conditions, in a variety of contexts. This requires trial and error – which requires competitive markets and marketing.”
Rory Sutherland, How to Be an Alchemist: Or, the Art and Science of Conceiving Effective Ideas that Logical People Will Hate
“People who are not skilled at mathematics tend to view the output of second-rate mathematicians with an high level of credulity, and attach almost mystical significance to their findings. Bad maths is the palmistry of the twenty-first century.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
“All too often, what matters is not whether an idea is true or effective, but whether it fits with the preconceptions of a dominant cabal.”
Rory Sutherland, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

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