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Great books, great examples, but sorry NZ its not for you

  • May 27th, 2012

By sending me this link to an interview with Daniel Kahneman, a friend has just improved my experience (actually the memory) of reading the book Thinking Fast and Slow earlier this year. You'll have to read at least the Der Spiegel interview to fully appreciate the difference.

I bought the book for my Kindle so I could lend my hard copy. It is the most interesting and valuable book I’ve read for many years. 

When enthusing to a friend he told me he bought copies for friends at Christmas then gave them only to his family, because he “saw no point in sacrificing family comparative advantage by gving everyone else the same leg up”. 

Thinking of great books brings up Isaacson’s marvellous biography of Steve Jobs.

 Learning what a foul-mannered tyrant Jobs was made it even harder to hear about the employment law decision earlier this week, giving some whinger $20k for insults his boss had thrown.

It is clear from how Apple grew, stumbled and nearly died, then revived after Jobs rejoined it (a bit) wiser than when he was previously ejected, that not even a genius like him could create and sustain a company like Apple in New Zealand

Long ago we took from adult New Zealanders the freedom to choose the risk and the potential return from employment with inspired but unpleasant obsessives like Steve Jobs. Without employment at will he would have been unable to winnow his team continually for genuine excellence, as he did with Apple, and his time and  the company’s money would have been consumed in opportunist law suits from staff upset by him.

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