Hi!

here’s what I got up to since the last update

🔥 Highlights

💔 Lowlights

  • Unfortunately, Substack rolled out an update that makes it impossible to fetch subscriber numbers from their platform. Since, I think, this was the main selling point for most people, I’ve decided to discontinue Newsletter Spy for now.

☑️ Completed last week

📚 Resources I enjoyed last week

  • Via a comment on Ribbonfarm I discovered the book Management Myth by Matthew Stewart, and it’s absolutely fantastic.

    Although I have a few friends who work as consultants and attended recruiting events by McK & Co in the past, I was never able to figure out why companies are willing to pay so much money for consulting services. Typically, new consultants get a three-week crash course and are then sent immediately to clients who pay ridiculous amounts of money for their time. What exactly can you teach someone in three weeks that is so valuable? While there are certain consulting methods that make sense, most of them are voodoo that can be manipulated to fit any narrative. The key to understanding the consulting world is that it’s not really expertise that’s being sold. The following paragraph from the book nails it perfectly:

    “As the shamans who poison chickens and the priests who read entrails have long known, sometimes it is more important to build a consensus around a decision than to make the right decision; sometimes it is better to believe that a decision is sanctioned by a higher authority than to know that it rests on mere conjecture; and sometimes it is better to have a truly random decision than to continue to follow the predictable inclinations of one’s established prejudices. Of course, at other times it is better if you know what you are doing—but in that case why would you hire a consultant?”
  • I also enjoyed a few posts by Venkatesh Rao (an independent consultant) that provide an alternative perspective. (His grand-unified-theory of self-improvement is also worth a read.)

Until next time,

Jakob

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