Mind Experiments, Gerrymandering and Co-Ops

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

  1. The Great CEO Within. ~18 months ago, I read Great CEO Within and it instantly became a top 3 recommendation for startup founders. If you are a first-time founder of a company of 20 people or less, I recommend making it a priority to read this book. My review I wrote back then.

  2. Don’t Believe Everything You Think. Last week, I wrote about Scout Mindset and reducing self-deception and counter-productive beliefs from a logical/scientific/Bayesian perspective. Are you ready for another approach? Byron Katie’s The Work focuses on ending your own suffering by holding less tightly to your beliefs. I find her videos and podcasts to be moving. The core of the process is all on her Worksheet.  (Or can you choose to “release” your limiting or painful thoughts, beliefs or emotions? Although I have less experience with this approach, it’s amazing when it works.)

  3. Gerrymandering. I understood US Congress’ HR1 (aka For The People Act) as focusing on money in politics and adding more reform measures over time. But what if the thing that matters is  gerrymandering? Read the argument from Slow Boring. (Also, if you’re fuzzy on gerrymandering, perhaps the graphic below can help.)

  4. Free Will Thought Experiment. I read Sam Harris’ Free Will book when it came out. I remember thinking it was good and useful but it did not sink in. With his recent podcast episode, I can’t stop thinking about it. Do you feel like you have free will? If you observe your mind when you make a choice, do you experience free will? Or does your choice happen outside of your consciousness? If you want to try this “thought experiment”, listen to episode #241 of Making Sense.

  5. Co-Ops. Do you know much about co-ops? We had some discussion recently on my podcast about co-ops. In the US banking, insurance and utilities have been the biggest sectors for co-ops. Some advertise that they are more customer-oriented because they don’t have to satisfy shareholders. And they can address markets that have been underserved. I’ve been wondering if a co-op is ever an appropriate structure for entrepreneurial innovation or ventures with technical risk? It seems like a key constraint for co-ops is getting risk capital in or out. In the beginning it is hard to have capital for risk or growth. Over time they can accumulate excess capital. That pile of money gives management an incentive to demutualize. How should a co-op use excess capital in other productive ways? Why isn’t it distributed to members more often?

Until next week,