Barry Schwartz is an American psychologist, Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, and since 2016 has been visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the intersection of psychology and economics… He is also the author of the book “The Paradox of Choice” and he talks about the concepts from the book in this TED talk. In this post I wanted to outline some of the key points he makes, and connect them to a watch collector’s decision-making processes.
As I began seeing more Furlan Marri watches shared on Instagram, I asked myself why someone would choose this watch in the morning, when looking at their watch box. I won’t go into the background story of the brand and the reasons this is an enormously popular release; Wei Koh wrote all about it here and you can read that if you want some background.
I just had a conversation with my buddy Ben (@koreahasseoul1) and I felt like the topic was worthy of a post. Incidentally he’s a pretty interesting collector, and I would urge you to chat to him too if you feel like you want some advice about your collection, or just to talk watches. I always appreciate his perspectives, and I am sure you will too. Ben and I spoke about how collecting has evolved, especially in the last two to three years.
Have you ever heard of the term “Yak shaving”? The term was supposedly coined by Carlin Vieri from MIT, but others attribute its popularity to a Ren and Stimpy episode. Either way, I found it had some applicability to watch collecting, so I decided to share some thoughts on this; while slightly obscure and not wholly enlightening… hopefully still educational!
I watched a TED talk by Bill Burnett … so I decided to share some of his ideas and connect them to watches. Firstly: Why do you collect? What do you collect, exactly? How do you see your collecting journey today, in a year, in five years? Secondly: take your response to the first part, and try and find parallels with your original answer about your ideas on the meaning of life.
Do you sometimes feel like you spend all your time putting out proverbial fires in your life? At the end of the day do you feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet can’t point to anything of real significance which you accomplished that day? Yes? Well then, you are probably confusing the urgent with the important!
In terms of watch purchasing decisions, people tend to have similar problems – where the ‘importance’ is replaced with ‘desire’ – since the purchase of a luxury watch is rarely important. I will talk about the Eisenhower matrix before exploring The Watch Collector’s Matrix in its application to watch purchasing decisions.
I recently watched a TED Talk entitled “The counterintuitive way to be more persuasive” – the talk was about the Dilution Effect. In this talk, organizational psychologist Niro Sivanathan discusses this cognitive quirk that weakens our strongest cases, and he reveals why brevity is the true expressway to persuasion.
I was reading this book by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein entitled “Nudge” – in the book they evaluate choices, biases and the limits of human reasoning from several perspectives. They tell stories about how they trick themselves to becoming victims of the very limitations of thought that they are describing. This is telling, because the very fact that these educated, articulate professionals can trick themselves (even though they know what is happening) demonstrates how tough it is to think clearly. We fall prey to systematic errors of judgment all the time – however, one of the ways of harnessing this issue is to help others make better decisions.
What is the cost of an item? The price tag is a matter of fact, but how often do people really think about the true cost of an item when weighing it against the benefits of ownership?
‘Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language?’ To judge a risk more clearly, it may help to consider it in a foreign language. A series of experiments on more than 300 people from the U.S. and Korea found that thinking in a second language reduced deep-seated, misleading biases that unduly influence how…