Radical Truthfulness and Radical Transparency.

Whether you like it or not, radical transparency and algorithmic decision-making is coming at you fast, and it’s going to change your life. That’s because it’s now easy to take algorithms and embed them into computers and gather all that data that you’re leaving on yourself all over the place, and know what you’re like, and then direct the computers to interact with you in ways that are better than most people can.

Source: principles.com

Source: TED

Reprinted for educational purposes and social benefit, not for profit.




In order to be an effective investor, one has to bet against the consensus and be right. And it’s not easy to bet against the consensus and be right. One has to bet against the consensus and be right because the consensus is built into the price. And in order to be an entrepreneur, a successful entrepreneur, one has to bet against the consensus and be right. I had to be an entrepreneur and an investor — and what goes along with that is making a lot of painful mistakes. So I made a lot of painful mistakes, and with time, my attitude about those mistakes began to change. I began to think of them as puzzles. That if I could solve the puzzles, they would give me gems. And the puzzles were: What would I do differently in the future so I wouldn’t make that painful mistake? And the gems were principles that I would then write down so I would remember them that would help me in the future. And because I wrote them down so clearly, I could then — eventually discovered — I could then embed them into algorithms. And those algorithms would be embedded in computers, and the computers would make decisions along with me; and so in parallel, we would make these decisions. And I could see how those decisions then compared with my own decisions, and I could see that those decisions were a lot better. And that was because the computer could make decisions much faster, it could process a lot more information and it can process decisions much more — less emotionally. So it radically improved my decision-making.


So what’s the problem with being radically truthful and radically transparent with each other? People say it’s emotionally difficult. Critics say it’s a formula for a brutal work environment. Neuroscientists tell me it has to do with how are brains are prewired. There’s a part of our brain that would like to know our mistakes and like to look at our weaknesses so we could do better. I’m told that that’s the prefrontal cortex. And then there’s a part of our brain which views all of this as attacks. I’m told that that’s the amygdala. In other words, there are two you’s inside you: there’s an emotional you and there’s an intellectual you, and often they’re at odds, and often they work against you. It’s been our experience that we can win this battle. We win it as a group. It takes about 18 months typically to find that most people prefer operating this way, with this radical transparency than to be operating in a more opaque environment. There’s not politics, there’s not the brutality of — you know, all of that hidden, behind-the-scenes — there’s an idea meritocracy where people can speak up. And that’s been great. It’s given us more effective work, and it’s given us more effective relationships. But it’s not for everybody. We found something like 25 or 30 percent of the population it’s just not for. And by the way, when I say radical transparency, I’m not saying transparency about everything. I mean, you don’t have to tell somebody that their bald spot is growing or their baby’s ugly. So, I’m just talking about —