The Paradox of Choice – quasi book summary and discussion

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.

Never split the difference (Negotiation) – Book review and summary

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, TED speaker, author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It. In this book, Voss uses his experiences from dealing with crises to explain how many of his tactics are actually applicable to normal folks like you and I. As he puts it, “Getting…

Watches in a post-COVID world

A post about the state of watch collecting, and a discussion about ways in which people collect watches, along with the impact of these choices.

Never give up

I’m not sure who needs to hear this today, but it’s Sunday evening and this seems quite handy as we head into a new week. Transitions can be some of the most difficult parts of our lives… don’t quit.

Behavioural Economics and watch collecting

Richard Thaler, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky are the pioneers of the field called “behavioural economics”, two of them even won Nobel prizes for their work and the third would have too, if he was alive to receive it. The trio uncovered numerous ways in which people make poor decisions without knowing it. Here’s a short podcast where Thaler tells a number of stories that bring behavioural economics to life. I wanted to talk about some of their findings (again) and apply it to watch collecting in some way.

Impostor syndrome in watch collecting

The term ‘imposter syndrome’ was first coined in 1978 by two US psychologists who called it the ‘imposter phenomenon’. They defined it as feeling like a fraud despite obvious successes and high achievements. Although this concept is mostly applied to workplaces and working professionals in various fields, it absolutely does apply in watch collecting, and I believe it signals a loss of one’s perspective – which just needs some recalibration.

The “Front Page Test” for watch collectors

The “Front Page Test” is an easy ethics standard which requires asking yourself: “How would I feel if the course of action I am considering were reported on the front page of the local newspaper or in a popular blog?”. The idea is, if you feel this would be uncomfortable or create problems for you, then the best course of action is to change the intended course of action. Simple as that.

Yak shaving and watch collecting

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!

The Expectation Effect

The Expectation Effect: there is a wide range of phenomena in everyday perception … where we see things in terms of the properties of objects as they are conceived, and fail to ‘notice’ those features that deviate from this conception.