Hmm, That’s Interesting

Supported by Greenhaven Road Capital, finding value off the beaten path.

One theme that’s come up on this blog are moments where someone thinks, “Hmm, that’s interesting.”

These ideas emerge when someone’s perception of the world doesn’t match reality. When this happens we can do three things.

  • Dismiss reality (stubborn), That person is an idiot. Of course, he would think that. 
  • Accept reality (compliant). I’ve been wrong this whole time. I will update my views. 
  • Be curious. Hmm, that’s interesting. 

Curiosity is a form of intellectual integrity said David Salem.  It’s a superpower said Brian Grazer.

Let’s see how this works.

Raj Chetty told Tyler Cowen that he was struck by the difference between how economists thought people approached taxes and how his friends approached taxes.

Richard Thaler kept a list of “dumb things people do” in this office.

Haralabob Voulgaris heard Phil Jackson say that corner three-point shots were a terrible choice because they led to fast breaks. Voulgaris dug into the details.

Eric Maddox thought it was interesting that all of Sadaam’s bodyguards were uninvolved except one.

Jim O’Shaughnessy heard ‘adults’ explaining how they picked investments based on the people and not the financials. He wondered if there was a better way.

Patrick Collison saw how easy it was to sell apps in Apple’s App store and wondered why it wasn’t as easy to sell things on the internet in general.

Ray Kroc wondered why people kept telling him about a restaurant in sleepy San Bernadino.

Michael Ovitz said his curiosity, “drove people crazy, I drove people out of their minds, but they liked it. I was this brash, inquisitive lunatic.”

Elizabeth Gilbert said “The tricky bit is starting from a place you are very curious because in six months it’s going to feel very boring and tedious because making things is very boring and tedious. Another idea is going to come along very seductively and do the dance of the seven veils in the corner of your studio and say ‘I am a much more interesting, much more exciting idea.’”

Hmm, that’s interesting isn’t easy. It takes work. You have to pay attention. You need ideas – not idealogies. You have to be willing to dig, reassess, and dig more. You need a willingness to be wrong. You have to be okay being empty handed. Of course, that won’t be true, you may be curiouser.


Thanks for reading,

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