Tick Tock you're dead - image for article by Greg Alder

Tick Tock, You’re Dead


Next time you’re walking down a busy city street, I want you to do a little experiment. Let’s say that every pace you take, you pass a person. If it’s 100 paces to the end of the block, you have…

The expertise illusion - image for article by Greg Alder

The Expertise Illusion


It’s an unusually mild December day in New York. In the downtown office of Fortune Wealth, the air crackles with anticipation. It’s the day of the company’s party. It’s the day the bonuses are handed out. It’s also the day…

Shutter open - image for article by Greg Alder

Shutter open


I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. This is a line from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel Goodbye To Berlin. The line inspired a play, then a musical. The brilliant Bob Fosse directed a film…

Florida effect - image for article by Greg Alder

The Florida Effect


In 1996 in New York University, students sat in a room where they were asked to form grammatically correct 4-word sentences from a set of 5 random words. Having completed the task, each student was sent down the corridor to…


Verbs have the best life, sometimes


It’s every brand owner’s dream to have his or her brand verbified. That’s the sure sign of popular acceptance and category dominance. Dyson products are admired and popular. Nevertheless, people still Hoover their carpets. One day we might Dyson our floors. But…

Both sides happy - image for article by Greg Alder

Both sides happy


Every street, every town, every country has 2 kinds of people. Those who want progress and those who don’t. The progressives reckon the antiprogressives cripple economic development. The antiprogressives reckon the progressives ruin the place. Progress is a battle. Preservation…

The accidental genius - image for article by Greg Alder

The Accidential Genius


Francis Bacon said that all painting is an accident. There are people who’d point to Jackson Pollock’s paintings as evidence of art by accident. But this isn’t what Bacon meant. It wasn’t the act of painting, but the inspiration that…

Jack of none - image for article by Greg Alder

Jack of none


“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a phrase used to describe someone who’s broadly skilled but lacks depth of knowledge in one area. Often it’s abbreviated. When someone says “Jack of all trades”, we mentally add the second…

Reverse the story - image for article by Greg Alder

Reverse the story


If you’re not an architect of change, you will be its victim. The fields of history are littered with the carcasses of those who were looking the other way when change happened. The industrial revolution triggered a connected chain of…