Mental Models

“To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

The Best Way to Make Intelligent Decisions

Charlie Munger summed up the approach to practical wisdom through understanding mental models by saying:

“Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ’em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form. You’ve got to have models in your head. And you’ve got to array your experience both vicarious and direct on this latticework of models. You may have noticed students who just try to remember and pound back what is remembered. Well, they fail in school and in life. You’ve got to hang experience on a latticework of models in your head.”

THE LIST

if you know all the concepts and principles listed below (only 109…), you will know how to interpret most of things that will happen to you during your life…


General Thinking Concepts

1. The Map is not the Territory

2. Circle of Competence

3. First Principles Thinking

4. Thought Experiment

5. Second-Order Thinking

6. Probabilistic Thinking

7. Inversion

8. Occam’s Razor

9. Hanlon’s Razor


Numeracy

1. Permutations and Combinations

2. Algebraic Equivalence

3. Randomness

4. Stochastic Processes (Poisson, Markov, Random Walk)

5. Compounding

6. Multiplying by Zero

7. Churn

8. Law of Large Numbers

9. Bell Curve/Normal Distribution

10. Power Laws

11. Regression to the Mean

12. Order of Magnitude


Systems

1. Scale

2. Law of Diminishing Returns

3. Pareto Principle

4. Feedback Loops (and Homeostasis)

5. Chaos Dynamics (Butterfly Effect)/ (Sensitivity to Initial Conditions)

6. Preferential Attachment (Cumulative Advantage)

7. Emergence

8. Irreducibility 

9. Tragedy of the Commons

10. Gresham’s Law

11. Algorithms

12. Fragility – Robustness – Antifragility

13. Backup Systems/Redundancy

14. Margin of Safety

15. Criticality

16. Network Effects

17. Via Negativa – Omission/Removal/Avoidance of Harm

18. The Lindy Effect

19. Renormalization Group

20. Spring-loading

21. Complex Adaptive Systems


Physical World

1. Laws of Thermodynamics

2. Reciprocity

3. Velocity

4. Relativity

5. Activation Energy

6. Catalysts

7. Leverage

8. Inertia

9. Alloying

10. Viscosity


The Biological World

1. Incentives

2. Cooperation (Including Symbiosis and Prisoner’s Dilemma)

3. Tendency to Minimize Energy Output (Mental & Physical)

4. Adaptation

5. Evolution by Natural Selection

6. The Red Queen Effect (Co-evolutionary Arms Race)

7. Replication

8. Hierarchical and Other Organizing Instincts

9. Self-Preservation Instincts

10. Simple Physiological Reward-Seeking

11. Exaptation

12. Ecosystems

13. Niches

14. Dunbar’s Number


Human Nature & Judgment

1. Trust

2. Bias from Incentives

3. Pavlovian Association

4. Tendency to Feel Envy & Jealousy

5. Tendency to Distort Due to Liking/Loving or Disliking/Hating

6. Denial 

7. Availability Heuristic

8. Representativeness Heuristic

a. Failure to Account for Base Rates

b. Tendency to Stereotype 

c. Failure to See False Conjunctions

9. Social Proof (Safety in Numbers)

10. Narrative Instinct

11. Curiosity Instinct

12. Language Instinct

13. First-Conclusion Bias

14. Tendency to Overgeneralize from Small Samples

15. Relative Satisfaction/Misery Tendencies

16. Commitment & Consistency Bias

17. Hindsight Bias

18. Sensitivity to Fairness

19. Tendency to Overestimate Consistency of Behavior (Fundamental Attribution Error)

20. Influence of Stress (Including Breaking Points)

21. Survivorship Bias

22. Tendency to Want to Do Something (Fight/Flight, Intervention, Demonstration of Value, etc.)

23. Falsification / Confirmation Bias


Microeconomics & Strategy

1. Opportunity Costs

2. Creative Destruction

3. Comparative Advantage

4. Specialization (Pin Factory)

5. Seizing the Middle

6. Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights

7. Double-Entry Bookkeeping

8. Utility (Marginal, Diminishing, Increasing)

9. Bottlenecks

10. Bribery

11. Arbitrage

12. Supply and Demand

13. Scarcity

14. Mr. Market


Military & War

1. Seeing the Front

2. Asymmetric Warfare

3. Two-Front War

4. Counterinsurgency

5. Mutually Assured Destruction

 

Entrepreneurs Bible

Cool blog archive from Marc Andreessen

THE PMARCA GUIDE TO STARTUPS

THE LONG KISS GOODBYE

Before he stopped posting, Marc tantalized readers with a “Coming Soon” list (reprinted below). I was particularly excited about the Guide to High-Tech Startups. Maybe someday. All we can do is hope.

Top 10 books for high-tech entrepreneurs

Top 10 ways to do personal outsourcing

Software — the velvet revolution and the multicore conundrum

How to trick out a Typepad blog in 2007

Killer Windows Media Center apps for 2007

The truth about reporters: a multi-part series

The Pmarca Guide to High-Tech Startups: a multi-part series

Why Internet advertising is about to get humongous

Impressive Lyft!

It’s perhaps a good day to say that there are some things in the world that sometimes just Lyft off and defy gravity, for no good nor sound reason at all!

Lyft, the winner in the ridehailing race to the public markets, has debuted on the NASDAQ in the year’s biggest listing so far.  The company has priced its shares at $72 apiece, valuing its IPO at roughly $20.6 billion—a significant jump from the $15.1 billion valuation it reached in its latest funding round last year.

The company’s latest S-1 filing notes that Lyft’s co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, will hold all of the company’s class B shares, which carry 20x the regular voting power. With nearly 49% of Lyft’s voting shares between the two, Green and Zimmer could reportedly hold respective stakes in the company worth $569 million and $393 million with a top-end pricing.

Junk Food VC

Funny enough, we looked at Dynamic Yield in the past and now it was swallowed by McDonald’s… 

junk food VC

SUPERSIZE ME: McDonald’s will spend more than $300 million to buy Dynamic Yield, an Israel-based decision-logic company. McDonald’s plans to use the new technology so that its restaurants can personalize their drive-thru menu boards appropriately. For instance, the menu would display certain items depending on factors such as the weather…

More coffee on cold days and McFlurries on hot days.

Dynamic Yield has raised more than $83 million in venture funding from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Viola Growth, Naver Corporation, Vertex Ventures, and Innovation Endeavors. According to the deal terms, Dynamic Yield will continue to operate as a standalone company.
This is McDonald’s largest acquisition in 20 years, and it’s the latest in a series of deliberate technology-focused moves for the company. In January, the fast-food chain announced a new “growth plan” that emphasized convenience and personalization through digital efforts like its mobile app and kiosks that allow customers to skip the front counter entirely.
“With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalised experiences for our customers,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

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