Tag Archives: Craig Rispin

Behavioural economics, a new scholary field

15 May

I went along to meet Craig Rispin this week, he runs a mentoring group in Sydney every few weeks, Melbourne too and it’s always interesting to hear what he has to say.

The structure of the presentation is, Craig introduces topics we normally wouldn’t know about, one of the topics he introduced was a new scholarly field called ‘Behavioural economics‘ and a interesting man called ‘Dan Ariely’

I was introduced to ‘CDU’, which of course in ‘Consultant debunked unit’, it appears more and more people are turning to evidence based consulting and evidence based testing.

We can be blinded by our own self interests and so too can other people, its important to be aware of this.

With Dan Ariley, in the past his skin was badly burnt, as part of his treatment he needed to have his bandages changed frequently and when the bandages were changed, they were ripped off, with high pain, this was the best practice, at the time.

For Dan, taking the bandages off slower, with lower pain, for a longer period time would have been preferable, and after his own studies, he proved taking the bandages off slower was better and now this method is a ‘Best practice’, this was the start and now best practices are being challenged in many different industries

Conflicts of interest

This might not seem so strange at first, but recently i learnt a while back that eating fat does not make you fat, eating carbohydrates makes you fat

The hormone insulin is responsible for obesity, and levels of insulin spike when we eat carbohydrates, leading us to get fat. Eating fat, he says, does not have this effect on insulin and therefore is not the culprit in making people overweight or obese

In his books, Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat, Taubes writes that a small but influential contingent of American nutritionists – Jean Mayer, Fred Stare, Jules Hirsch, George Bray, Theodore Vanitallie, Albert Stunkard, George Cahill and Philip White – then became the leading authorities in the field. ”They all came out of the north-eastern academic corridor – Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Rockerfeller, the University of Pennsylvania – and they all knew each other,” he writes.

”None of these authorities actually specialised in the clinical treatment of obesity [except for one], who did so as a psychiatrist treating an eating disorder. Nor were they necessarily the best scientists in their field.”

In the late ’70s, Taubes says, these researchers addressed a committee charged with establishing the ”Dietary Goals for Americans”, embracing the committee’s recommendation of a national diet lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates.

Gandhi was a Behavioural economist

Whats interesting to me is in Ghandi’s book, ‘My experiments with truth’, is he devised his own logic, if one of the many truths he thought to be true would be proved false, he would rethink his whole outlook.

Knowledge that is assumed, when combined with other truths cannot be correct, sometimes it can be so obvious everybody can miss it.

Another example that comes to mind is in relation to sight reading music, i hear a story of a teacher that gave a piece of music to a student to play and he played it correctly, except it was wrong, on closer inspection, it appeared like how humans don’t need to read a whole word to interpret a word, we read the first letter and last letter and interpret the word.

So too, with musicians that sight read, they play the rhythm, they do not read every note and this was only discovered with this professor trying to figure out why professional musicians played a piece of music correctly, even though it was transcribed incorrectly.

Sometimes you have to ask the obvious questions, which reminds me of Karl Pilkington’s series ‘An Idiot abroad’

Sometimes the questions he asks are pretty good, sometimes…

Or the ‘fools quest’, as Tom Robbins said in his book ‘Half asleep in frogs pajamas’

“..the whole tarot deck, or at least the twenty-two trump cards of the Major Arcana, may be read as the Fool’s journey. “On one important level,” she explained, “the major cards are chapters in the story of a quest. I’m talking the universal human quest for understanding and divine reunion.

And it doesn’t matter whether the quest starts with the Fool or ends with him, because it’s a loop anyhow, a cycle endlessly repeated. When the naive young Fool finally tumbles over the precipice, he falls into the world of experience. Now his journey has really begun. Along the way, he’ll meet all the teachers and tempters – the tempters are teachers, too – and challenging situations that a person is likely to meet in the task of his or her growing.

The Fool is potentially everybody, but not everybody has the wisdom or the guts to play the fool. A lot of folks don’t know what’s in that bag they’re carrying. And they’re all too willing to trade it for cash. Inside the bag, the have every tool they need to facilitate their life’s journey, but they won’t even open it up and glance inside.

Subconsciously, the goal of all of us out-of-control primates is essentially the same, but let me assure you of this: the only ones who’ll ever reach that goal are the ones who have the courage to make fools of themselves along the way.”

An idiot abroad

You have to Innovate 20% of the time

26 Nov

I was watching a video of Craig Rispin last week, he talked about how you have to innovate 20% of the time to stay ahead of the game, to be future proof.

What does that mean to you or i? Well it means we have to try new things, do things differntly, you wont be successful all the time, this is ok, but you will find an idea that will give you a big return and here’s where you bring in the 80/20 rule.

In is a book called ‘The artists way’, Julia Cameron says you have to be prepared to make bad art to make good art, you simply cant just wait to feel inspired, the day you get the perfect paint brushes or that new laptop you always wanted to write the book you want to write.

Julia promotes a form of stream writing called ‘Morning pages’ where you write 3 pages of A4 foolscap of what ever is going through your mind, it’s nothing new, this technique was first discovered by Leonardo Da Vinci, Its about thinking different, here are some steps to think like Mr Da Vinci

Leonardo had many good ideasImage

Morning pages and stream writing are techniques of tuning into your subconscious that many find helpful in their lives.

I once watched an artist sketch his ideas on an old newspaper, with a pen he borrowed, that i feel was innovative, i would never have thought of that, maybe it was intuitive to him or maybe he was resourceful, before long i could see his idea, it was a lesson for me, if you want to do something, just start and your halfway done

80% of the wealth you generate comes from the 20% of you effort, you’ve heard all this before, i know did, somehow in the modern age we live in, it was a rule that didn’t apply these days, i haven’t heard it in a while.

Expressed another way?


Well if you find the 20% of your effort thats giving you the 80% return and you double the effort (the 20%), before long you are getting a return of 160%, it doesnt take a genius to figure this out.

When Craig Rispin worked with Steve Jobs, they set aside Fridays to ask themselves one question.

That one question is…

‘Is there a better way?’


It’s interesting that these guys that were so busy, probably had endless people they had to meet would set one daya week to this, but i guess if you have all the answers maybe your asking the wrong questions

Everyone’s heard the stories of google employees having 20% of their time dedicated to their own side projects.

Blogger and twitter came about as side projects, noone could have though they would have been as popular as they have become, one of the pratical applications of twitter was notifing people of the Calafornian bush fires, technology is being developed to predict these fires through crowdsoursing and social media 

All of a sudden having a side project sounds like a thing you should be doing?

Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s leading creative organizations says his number one innovative company is Apple.

Apple spend 10% a year on research and development of their products, all of it is self funding.

I read a while back the biggest threat to companies was the the fear of failure, or to put it another way, the fear of failing at something new was hampering the success of the companies, it would seem some people are so afraid to be seen as failures, this is why they do not succeed?

The simple fact is, you will fail at some things, but seen in another light, there are no failures, only stepping stones.

I read in a the Smh.com.au an article by Harold Mitchell on the weekend

Inaction is action and inertia is not an option

Where ever talent and innovation goes, innovation, creativity and economic growth are sure to folow

What are the 2 major trends right now in Technology?

  1. Transperancy,
  2. Crowdsourcing

Transperancy is how experiences the information they view online, in the video below Craig demonstrates how a user can view a movie, pause the movie, search for a seafood restaurant, find the nearest one on google maps and call the restaurant to order food.

Never has the consumer been able to search so much data, extract the valuable information and go back to watching a movie, so many difficult, complicated and valuable tasks completed through an interface anybody can use.

With Crowdsourcing, in the video below, Craig gives an example of how end users collaborated to design a hotel in a computer game, half life.

This design was such a success, the hotel was built and then the people that collaborated to design the hotel, including Craig Rispin went to stay in the hotel

Since his input was part of the output, he had an emotional attachment to this hotel.

Wisdom of crowds? This is one of Obama’s crowds


Craig mentioned James Surowiecki and his book ‘The wisdom of crowds’, it encapulates three parts

1, Cognition     

Thinking and information Processing Market judgment, which he argues can be much faster, more reliable, and less subject to political forces than the deliberations of experts or expert committees.

2, Coordination

Coordination of behavior includes optimizing the utilization of a popular bar and not colliding in moving traffic flows. The book is replete with examples from experimental economics, but this section relies more on naturally occurring experiments such as pedestrians optimizing the pavement flow or the extent of crowding in popular restaurants.

He examines how common understanding within a culture allows remarkably accurate judgments about specific reactions of other members of the culture.

3, Cooperation

How groups of people can form networks of trust without a central system controlling their behavior or directly enforcing their compliance. This section is especially pro free market.

People have an emotional attachment to devices/products which is hard to believe.

This innovation didn’t happen by accident, it was planned


Craig Rispin says:

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