• Mars-CandyFB

    7 Ways Companies Exploit Psychology

    Companies are always looking for an edge: to acquire more customers, or get more money out of the existing customers. The use of certain techniques is not necessarily nefarious, but smart consumers should still be aware of the ways companies might try to use psychological research to exploit them. Simply being aware of these tricks […]

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    How Doing Well in School can Ruin Your Career

    When I was in high school, someone once told me that “the A students work for the B students; the B students work at the C students’ companies, and the D students are the janitors.” What the person was trying to say was that the meticulous engineers worked for the more social MBAs, who worked for […]

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    Mindhacks to Increase Happiness using Science

    Much of the latest psychological research is yielding surprising, even counter-intuitive insights into how the mind works (which is why we have wonderful books like Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational). A common thread underlying much of this research is that the mind can be easily “tricked.” This has led to new fields, like neuromarketing, but also a variety […]

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  • californiacation

    Scarcity and Deadlines: The Secret of Productivity?

    A “deadline” is a scary word. It comes from an imaginary line in the ground in civil war prisons, the crossing of which would lead to death. Sometimes the dead line was not even marked; it was just an arbitrary point at which the guards would fire and kill a presumed prison-breaking inmate. Today, deadlines […]

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    Crappy Apps and Get Rich Quick Schemes

    Sturgeon’s Law says that “90% of everything is crap.” When I first read this, it seemed immensely depressing. I couldn’t help but feel that it was somehow an attack on my work. All craftsmen, from authors to computer programmers, know the feeling of having created something that is not quite good enough. We have a […]

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    What It’s Like to Live In China

    Whenever I’m asked “what was your favorite country you lived in?” I feel like I’m being asked to choose between children. Each nation where I’ve been a resident has it’s own distinct flavor. This post is part of a series about what it’s like to live abroad, where I profile each country one at a time and […]

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  • WozThiel

    The Lone Genius and the Startup Founder: a Tale of Two Styles

    The tension between the the Lone Genius and the Startup Founder is one I’ve found myself personally struggling with throughout my life. Is it better to create, even in isolation, for the sake of creation  – or to build something large, regardless of the impact I might have upon the actual product? Some very smart people would advocate for […]

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  • Data and the Self

    Tiny Data is Hugely Powerful (and Easy to Obtain)

    Tiny data is the reason I made this blog. What is tiny data, and why is N=1 so powerful? Read on to find out… Odds are, you’ve probably heard of “big data” by now, the means by which companies and governments are collecting massive amounts of data on… everything. One of the key insights of the […]

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    The Upside to Being Down (Why Unhappiness is Good For You)

    So frequently, advice-givers get caught up on ways to stay perpetually happy. Current wisdom available in self-help books, the blogosphere and elsewhere seems to indicate that if things aren’t always going great for you, it’s your own fault and it needs to be fixed. In reality, unhappiness is a very important part of psychological health. […]

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