The Little Person Inside (Synecdoche)

The headline could be – Iran backs off from negotiation. What does it mean?

Does it refer to all the people in a country or just a few politician decision.

NASA Shuttle

How do space shuttles came into existence which costs billions of dollars and still have not achieved its intended course of action.

In 1969, NASA decided to go to the moon, and they achieved this as a manned mission within a decade.

People at NASA wanted to do many missions – mining of asteroids, going to mars as manned mission and many more. But this was going to cost a lot of money.

Richard Nixon wasn’t in the mood to spend any money. So NASA was in a dilemma on how to make sure they have a presence in space.

A committee was appointed to look into the issue. They found out that if more missions happened then, it would be beneficial than a one-off mission.

Somewhere near 50 mission per year. And they would need approval from the Defence Department.

They did build the shuttle, and it was still costing a lot of money.

The Side Effect

The Soviets saw this and ran the numbers. And it seemed a large amount of money. So they reasoned people at White House wouldn’t sanction this unless it had more use than just going to space.

So they duplicated the shuttle called Buran and kept in reserve.

Once they would know what the USA was up to, they could match.

And the shuttle Buran just flew once, and it crashed under the storm. In this story, Soviets failed to realize that there wasn’t White House that was deciding. So no single person was making a rational decision – that’s not how government works.

Why Organisations Fail

A book was written ‘essence of decision ‘ on the Cuban crisis, telling how the organization decides.

You might think that a specific country made a bad decision because that doesn’t align with rationality.

Here is how an organization decide something:

When faced with a crisis, leaders break it and give it to respective departments.

Because of resource limitation, leaders finalize the first solution, which is good enough.

Leaders are focused on the elimination of short term uncertainty and not long term betterment.

Often they use the old playbook which solved their problem previously.

And that’s why the organization shatters. Because once the world changes a lot, the old way of things doesn’t work.

An example, when the shift happens from cable to YouTube to Netflix, the transformation was new, and you can’t play anymore with old rules. You have to find a new playbook or fall flat.

Rational Actor In Your Mind

There is no real Nobel Prize in Economics. It’s indeed fake because it is funded by a bank and it is based on the rational actor model.

Meaning that you will act as per the laws of economics, keeping in factor short and long term interest.

But there is no rational actor in your mind. Here is an example, Seth was baking roasted carrot in olive oil by putting them in the oven in rotation.

In the process, his finger got burned, and there panned dropped, and so did the oil.

And the whole oven was on fire. Luckily the fire extinguisher was nearby, and the fire was off.

But was this in the interest of the long term damage possibility? Hell no.

However, Seth didn’t get to decide, his pinky finger decided on the short term rationale and probably next time too the same outcome might come.

You don’t have one single voice as a rational actor. Rather a bunch of actors on various factors -short term or long term response.

For example, you might think Starbucks hate you. That’s not true – a person working there didn’t like you, and that isn’t an indication of the organization.

So your brain functions on multiple different decisions sometimes short term objective and sometimes thinking more rationally.

Voices In Your Head

When faced with a crisis, you break it down and assign it to different preassigned roles in your head.

De to the limitation on resources, you settle on the first good enough solution. You gravitate towards a solution which removes short term uncertainty. And you use your old solution to tackle similar problems.

Inside of your head is an organization like the space shuttle and the Soviets. That works with a process with different voices doing its own job.

And you just sum total of all of your processes.


  • How do you when to use inconvenience for a worthy outcome and when to switch being convenient and drop in quality?

Almost no one wants inconvenient, and they won’t pay extra for waiting.

With the times, they are in a hurry for the supermarket tuna. They don’t care.

As a creator, you need to make a choice. You need to find people who care enough and then make things which are extraordinary. And they will come.

  • How can you handcraft websites, app, or code?

You can still do inconvenient things and add value in the digital world.

There is a software called Superhuman, and its price is $1 per day, which is expensive than any other email client. And every day they work on making it better for you because they aren’t trying to lure you into sucking in and making the CEO richer. That’s happening by your payment of $1 per day so every day they are working for your betterment.

Also, when they started the CEO and the team of 5 members visited and on-board the first 15000 customers.

That’s crazy and costs them a lot of money. But if they do it right and they did, the customers stick, and it all is paid back.

Another example is the early team which worked on Mac computers. They made all the icons and functions with care, and it resonated.

Now it just exists to be a luxury, and as such, it shows.

Will my status roles go down if I approach people in a networking event?

Status expresses in such events. But that might not matter. What if you are learning something when you interact.

Or you can talk as a peer, and your status role will be intact.

Often stories about status happen first in your head. You need to figure out is that helping in making a change which you want to make.

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