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A man who thinks for himself
on 1 July 2013
Rory Sutherland is good company. He may be the Vice-Chairman of a major ad agency (Oglivy), but Google a couple of his online talks at TED and you get the sense that he'd be good value for a pint. Funny and interesting - the kind of guy who makes you laugh while re-wiring your brain.
His book, The Wiki Man, continues in a similar vein. It's a mixture of interviews, doodles, quotes, and bits of his Spectator column. Like the online lectures the conversation loops through behavioural economics, humour, advertising, social media, true crime, trains, and the brilliance of McDonalds.
And it's great stuff.
There's no 1,2,3 here. No formulas. Instead the deceptively rambling conversation reveals a man prepared to think for himself. In a world where half of all headlines bait us with "7 secret ways to do X" this makes for a refreshing change. Daring even. There is no formula for creative problem solving. There is work.
On the way you'll meet many of the key ideas in behavioural economics; loss aversions, maximising versus satisfying, relative value and so on... usually applied to specific things that drive Sutherland to distraction. Don't get him started on trains... for example.
It's an interesting, funny and easy read. What else are you looking for?