Mindware: A Theory of Learnable Intelligence

For decades, the metaphor that the brain is a machine has caused some confusion. However, even if the metaphor is incorrect from a biological standpoint, viewing the mind as a machine can be useful as a heuristic for everyday decision-making. Created by a cognitive scientist at Harvard University, the concept of “mindware” builds upon the … Read More

Vectors of Action: The Power of Velocity over Speed

We live in a society where speed has become a measure of performance. We try to quickly go through our to-do lists, keep up with fast-evolving market demands, and rapidly ship product updates. Sure, we’re productive, in the oldest sense of the term — from Latin producere, which means “to bring forth”. But it somehow … Read More

Your circle of competence: should you stick within it or step outside of it?

Should you stick to what you know, or is it wiser to broaden your abilities? Some people may tell you to only take on projects that fall within your circle of competence, while others will advise you to get out of your comfort zone. Who’s right? The circle of competence model states that everyone has … Read More

The power of simplicity: how to manage our complexity bias

We often tend to prefer complex solutions over simple ones; complicated marketing jargon over clear explanations; multi-steps implementations over more direct execution. Complexity can lend an aura of authority to products, which marketers are exploiting to project authority and expertise. Complex processes can also delay decision-making, giving us the illusion of productivity. Why is it … Read More

The fallacy of “what gets measured gets managed”

If there’s one quote that’s particularly popular in management circles, it’s “what gets measured gets managed”—often misattributed to famous management consultant Peter Drucker. First, Drucker never said this; second, he actually didn’t believe such a thing; third, the idea is flawed. A long game of telephone The idea probably originated from a paper published in … Read More

Sophrosyne: the art of mindful moderation

From the doctrines of Confucianism to the cardinal virtues of Christianism, modern humanity has always sought to define the most desirable traits of mind and character. For the ancient Greeks, sophrosyne was an important concept describing a sound mind and an excellent character—a combination of moderation, self-control, and temperance. In today’s chaotic world, this ancient … Read More

Jootsing: the art of jumping out of the system

“Constraints breed creativity” is such a popular principle, it has become a design trope. Think outside the box, they say. Rather than just thinking outside the box, “jootsing” is about destroying the box or completely ignoring its existence. The term was coined by Douglas Hofstadter, an American scholar of cognitive science, physics, and comparative literature. … Read More

The butterfly effect: the impact of deterministic chaos on our lives

The butterfly effect teaches us to ackowledge the chaotic nature of life, to be mindful of our starting conditions, to generate the best catalysts to achieve our goals, and to constantly adjust our forecast. What do predicting the weather, studying cognitive processes, and starting a war have in common? They all require to take into … Read More

The planning fallacy: why we underestimate how long a task will take

“I’ll be here in ten minutes,” you tell your friend on the phone while hurrying to put your shoes on. “We are aiming to launch at the end of year,” confidently tells the project manager to their boss. We have all been guilty of being overoptimistic when predicting how long a task will take. That’s … Read More