Category: 1 – Read ASAP! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)
Comments: Book of the year. It’s impact on me was as follows – every time I hear someone say “that makes sense – should work” or something similar, I stop in my tracks and remind myself that things that the idea that things that make sense should work is a falsehood.” Alchemy has put in a reminder as strong as any that things that work don’t need to make sense and that a dash of alchemy is often what we need to solve problems. In that sense, its impact on me was profound.
Top 3 Lessons:
1. The opposite of a good idea is often a good idea. The most successful supermarkets post recession were either really cheap or really expensive. Luxury brands work. So do mass market ubiquitous ones.
2. The Earl of Sandwich asked for a type of food that would allow him to eat without leaving the gambling table. The sandwich since has received mass adoption. But innovation happens at the edges. Not for the average user.
3. Why do we have reason? So many animals have survived just fine without it and evolution doesn’t plan for the future and predict reason will be necessary for us to send someone to the moon. One interesting theory is that we developed reason as a way of justifying our actions to others – a necessary investment in a legal and PR department in a highly social species.
It is honestly really hard to bring this down to a top 3.