October 4, 2022




Jootsing, Worm's Eye View, The Easterlin Paradox, & More

At a glance

Welcome to the new friends of the Mental Models, Concepts, and Frameworks newsletter who have joined us since last week!

This Week: 8 mental models that will make you smarter


An extreme version of thinking outside the box that involves:

1) First gaining deep knowledge of the system and its rules

2) Then stepping outside to find something that subverts its rules

3) And finally, using your findings to make something new and creative


Worm's Eye View

Whether you’re a techie, politician, or corporate executive, you can’t fix a problem just by taking a top-down view.

You also need to look at the world bottom-up, through the workers’ eyes.

Be curious like a child and walk in others’ shoes.


Worm's Eye View

The Easterlin Paradox

At a point in time happiness varies directly with income, but over time happiness doesn’t continue growing as income grows.

In other words, you think making more money will make you happier, but you’re wrong.

Hinge of History

We are part of a time in human history where we’ve never had such a disproportionate influence over our long-term futures.

The threats we face—climate, aging/declining population, space—and technology we build in the next 50 years are the future of humanity.


Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

We are blind to what we cannot measure.

We manage what we can measure, so society repeats the same mistakes.

Creativity Begins at the Edge of Reason

”Change starts away from the spotlight.

Then, it moves towards the center.

That’s why the most interesting ideas at a conference never come from the main stage.

They come from the hallways and the bar after sunset.”


Weasel Words

A type of word used when someone wants to make it seem like they’ve given a clear answer to a question when they’ve actually said something ambiguous or vague.

Weasel words:

  • “Fairly”
  • “Better”
  • ”Probably”
  • “Improved”

These words don’t say much.

Knightian Uncertainty

Risk applies to situations where we don’t know the outcome of a situation but can measure its probabilities.

Uncertainty applies to situations where we can’t even measure probabilities because quantifiable knowledge is unknowable.

Lastly, if you're interested in finance and business models:

Mostly metrics is a weekly newsletter that explains financial metrics and business models in plain English.

It's written by CJ Gustafson, a startup CFO. Check out his pieces on actually understanding dilution, incentive stock option (ISOs), and LTV : CAC ratios.

Join the +7,000 VCs, Startup Founders, & Financial Analysts who subscribe.

That's it, I hope you enjoyed reading :)

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