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  • Baldur shared from The Technique of the Novel - A Handbook on the Craft of the Long Narrative by Thomas H. Uzzell
    Why aren’t novels better? It is surprising that they are not worse. Real profits are made in the publishing business by employing highly talented individuals who understand, intuitively in most cases, I believe, the dumb yearnings of dumb people and devise products to please them and keep them dumb and happy. Most books of fiction are written solely to entertain. Where one novel educates or enlarges the mental horizon of the reader, a hundred confirm his prejudices and exploit his ignorance. If novelists as a whole made even a beginning at telling what they know to be true, the book publishing...
    Note: "Why aren't novels better?" This quote is from a book originally written in 1947
  • Baldur shared from Scepticism and Animal Faith by George Santayana
    THERE IS NO FIRST PRINCIPLE OF CRITICISM A PHILOSOPHER is compelled to follow the maxim of epic poets and to plunge in medias res. The origin of things, if things have an origin, cannot be revealed to me, if revealed at all, until I have travelled very far from it, and many revolutions of the sun must precede my first dawn. The light as it appears hides the candle. Perhaps there is no source of things at all, no simpler form from which they are evolved, but only an endless succession of different complexities. In that case nothing would be lost by joining the procession wherever one happens to...
    Note: Whatever else, Santayana has a great first paragraph
  • Baldur shared from Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Let’s take this idea of Empedocles’ dog a bit further: If something that makes no sense to you (say, religion—if you are an atheist—or some age-old habit or practice called irrational); if that something has been around for a very, very long time, then, irrational or not, you can expect it to stick around much longer, and outlive those who call for its demise.
    Note: On average, old tech will outlast the new.
  • Baldur shared from Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Every time I hear someone trying to make a comparison between a book and an e-reader, or something ancient and a new technology, “opinions” pop up, as if reality cared about opinions and narratives. There are secrets to our world that only practice can reveal, and no opinion or analysis will ever capture in full. This secret property is, of course, revealed through time, and, thankfully, only through time.
    Note: Only time, not futurologists, will tell us which technology will survive.
  • Baldur shared from Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    In order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, but using exactly the same logic (the entrepreneur is still alive, though perhaps morally broken and socially stigmatized, particularly if he lives in Japan). For there is no such thing as a failed soldier, dead or alive (unless he acted in a cowardly manner)—likewise, there is no such thing as a failed entrepreneur or failed scientific researcher, any more than there is a successful babbler, philosophaster, commentator, consultant, lobbyist, or...
    Note: On celebrating those who take risks.
  • Baldur shared from The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen
    The concept of the value network—the context within which a firm identifies and responds to customers’ needs, solves problems, procures input, reacts to competitors, and strives for profit—is central to this synthesis. 6 Within a value network, each firm’s competitive strategy, and particularly its past choices of markets, determines its perceptions of the economic value of a new technology. These perceptions, in turn, shape the rewards different firms expect to obtain through pursuit of sustaining and disruptive innovations. 7 In established firms, expected rewards, in their turn, drive...
    Note: Value networks, from Innovator's Dilemma
  • Baldur shared from The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen
    Principle #3: Markets that Don’t Exist Can’t Be Analyzed
  • Baldur shared from The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen
    other features that a few fringe (and generally new) customers value. Products based on disruptive technologies are typically cheaper, simpler, smaller, and, frequently, more convenient to use. There
    Note: Firms tend to avoid disruptive innovations because they're cheap and crap at first
  • Baldur shared from The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen
    There are times at which it is right not to listen to customers, right to invest in developing lower-performance products that promise lower margins, and right to aggressively pursue small, rather than substantial, markets.
    Note: Doing the wrong thing is sometimes right
  • Baldur shared from The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen
    Precisely because these firms listened to their customers, invested aggressively in new technologies that would provide their customers more and better products of the sort they wanted, and because they carefully studied market trends and systematically allocated investment capital to innovations that promised the best returns, they lost their positions of leadership.
    Note: You can do the right thing and still paint your business into a corner