fragility: part iii


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Two people I really enjoy reading are Penelope Trunk (PT) and Nassim Taleb.

I disagree with 60% of what PT says but the process of disagreeing with her usually helps me clarify my own thinking. For example, this post on why generation z will kick my butt. By my butt, I mean gen y’s butt. She says that gen y is too focused on passion. Maybe because I work in finance but this is not consistent with my observations. Anyway, most of my friends have read flow and believe that finding flow is more important than finding passion.

This post is called fragility: part iii because I’m going to try to apply the idea of antifragile to all aspects of my life in 2013. I’m aiming for ten parts but who knows where this will take me. Part i was a post I wrote back in August. Part ii was a submission to the Product Matters newsletter to be published in February 2013.

Here goes part iii. I’m still reading the book. At page 80 right now. He has not convinced me that small banks are better than big banks … yet. One of the problems in 2008 was that many banks were taking the same risk. What would prevent small banks from participating in group think and taking on exactly the same risk? What would prevent tech start-ups from participating in group think and developing identical products? I guess the fact the tech start-ups usually do not hire consultants makes this somewhat less likely. Regardless of the size of the organization, what we really need are people who do not care (that much) about recognition, for whom thinking differently is a source of flow and therefore a source of reward in and of itself. P

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