Author of the extremely popular "Dear Economist" column in Financial Times, Tim Harford reveals the economics behind everyday phenomena in this highly entertaining and informative book....
A provocative and lively exploration of the increasingly important world of macroeconomics, by the author of the best-selling The Undercover Economist....
This audiobook paints an epic picture of change in an intimate way by telling the stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for all of us....
Most companies rely on manipulations to attract customers and employees; they use short-term motivators that do not inspire or encourage loyalty....
From the world's reigning expert on expertise comes a powerful new approach to mastering almost any skill....
Start with Why shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way - and it's the opposite of what everyone else does....
Best-selling author Dan Ariely reveals fascinating new insights into motivation - showing that the subject is far more complex than we ever imagined....
Ray Dalio, one of the world's most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he's developed, refined, and used over the past 40 years....
Adopt the investment strategy that built Warren Buffett's fortune....
The Undoing Project is about the fascinating collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university....
Innovation expert Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right - yet still lose market leadership....
What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock, prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, the story developers at Pixar films, and the Army Chief of Strategic Plans all have in common....
This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business....
The retired four-star general and best-selling author of My Share of the Task shares a powerful new leadership model....
Offering invaluable tools to better understand the concepts of choice and risk, More Than You Know is a unique blend of practical advice and sound theory....
Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning....
In Leadership BS Jeffrey Pfeffer shines a bright light on the leadership industry, showing why it's failing and how it might be remade....
In this groundbreaking work, Tim Harford shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. Harford argues that today’s challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinions; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt. Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with compelling stories of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial-and-error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and the financial crisis.
Adapt will be an influential book. I read lots of terrific books, and Harford's latest is certainly terrific, but very few books make a long-term difference in how we think. Thaler and Sunstein's Nudge, Ariely's Predictably Irrational, Taleb's The Black Swan, and Wu's Master Switch are all influential books. They all creep into conversations, inform policy choices, underlie institutional strategies, and shape careers.
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from John Maynard Keynes:
“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”
(Note: when Keynes was around, the ed tech profession did not yet exist, but if it did I think we would have been included amongst "economists and political philosophers").
Ideas rule the world. And books are the way that ideas take shape and spread. Therefore, books rule the world.
Adapt may get you thinking about your ability to adapt. Accept that you will fail, that your institution, your company, your department and your division will fail. What matters is how we learn from failure. Harford builds his theory of adaptation and failure by telling stories.
How did the U.S. Army turn the Iraq war around? (Short story … by Colonels on the ground risking careers by defying their civilian and military bosses, and engaging in counter-insurgent tactics). How have successful companies, from Google to Whole Foods, to W.L. Gore drive innovation and profits? (Answer: by creating non-hierarchical cultures that push authority and accountability to the edges).
All this may seem like familiar ground, and some of it has been well covered in Schulz's marvelous Being Wrong and Watt's Everything is Obvious (among others), but Harford brings these threads together into a clear set of ideas that are actionable in our professional lives and organizations.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Tim Harford and/or Jonathan Keeble?
Possibly, first half of book was full of great examples and approaches but second half became too much of a political statement for Carbon tax and did not follow throught with the main theme as much as the first half.
Would you recommend Adapt to your friends? Why or why not?
Only as a casual read and but stop at Carbon Tax section. You got 90% of the book at that point
How could the performance have been better?
Narrator needs to narrate. There was absolutely no need for alternate voices or a performance. Took away from the narration too much, were not that good and as an audible book his accent was often difficult to pick up on key words requiring a slight rewind at times.
Did Adapt inspire you to do anything?
One key point was made in the beginning that has resonated with me. The decision you make after a bad decision (or result) is often more damaging than the original. Excellent point in everything from golf to realtionships to business.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Interesting ideas expressed well.
What did you like best about this story?
Variety of examples.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Especially since this is non-fiction I dearly wish the (British) narrator had not attempted an American accent for any quote from an American. He does the usual things Brits do when (poorly) imitating Americans, for example very hard Rs and super flat "a" sound.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Probably not. Lots of ideas and history. One could, though, especially on a long drive or other trip.
Any additional comments?
Overall I like the narration. I am a half-Brit and Anglophile so I enjoy the basic British accent. He keeps the story moving and interesting. The writing is good, but it is non-fiction so it helps to have a good story-teller keeping it lively and supporting the writing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The book is based on one idea - success often comes from trial and error. There are anecdotes covering a wide range - business, healthcare, and charity work. At Google, employees are given time to experiment with new ideas. Although 80% of these ideas don't pan out, the 20% earns them huge profits. The book starts off slow and there is a chapter on military failures. I suggest starting on Chapter 3 where it has more relevance and then coming back to those chapters. There are also anecdotes about placing safeguards in the right places so that failures aren't disastrous. This is useful advice for industries like nuclear power generation and oil extraction.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
What would have made Adapt better?
Just like Anti-fragile, it's not about personal development. And, it doesn't contain any useful information.<br/><br/>It's a bunch of stories of failure and mistakes, with "they should have adapted" at the end.
What was most disappointing about Tim Harford’s story?
The lack of aplicable information to my daily life.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
If you like hearing stories of failure, with no actionable information or even anecdotes, then there are many of those.
Any additional comments?
Includes examples from nature, military, industry, and entertainment. Convincing argument delivered by an excellent performance.
excellent and simple strategies that you can use when not negotiating for someone's life. The real life examples for business were useful.
The book is okay. Supposedly about how we need to adapt to situations and be willing to try with the risk of failure in order to succeed, but then the examples given seemed to go off on a tangent and while I liked the anecdotes, I had to stop and wonder a lot about "so what is he trying to convey here?" because he's not very clear about his point in a lot of these cases.
I didn't like the voice actor used in this. The British accent was a little difficult, though not a big issue (though I can see it being so for others)... but mostly my problem was with the pacing of his narration. He would switch between long drawled-out words and then a series of words rapidly read in succession, making it impossible to speed up the audio to get over the slower parts, and sometimes requiring a rewind to focus and catch what he was saying. His choice to do accents for the quoted texts was kind of... off-putting too. Dramatic performances are not needed nor desired in non-fiction texts....
I’ve read many books about adaptation including the ‘Righteous Mind’ and ‘That Used to Us’ to name two. Here the author goes through and give cases where individuals chose to adapt causing the end result to change. The author even references one of the two books I’ve referenced in their work.
Really this is a book you need to read as I don’t want to ruin it. In the end like the ‘Five Elements of Thinking’ I’ve found several things I can carry forward into my life. I recommend you read this book and listen to it to get the most from it as no review can never really express the book as they’re someone else’s perception on a book.
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure is a book full of interesting stories, about some curious characters that I've never heard of. It is an easy listening that stresses trial and error and complexity of problems.
His 3 Principles- try new things/ ideas; make failure survivable; learn from your mistakes and adapt, and in the end, he gives the the forth principle: security (or delusion of security).