There are two types of people in this world:

– One who thinks (Nassim Nicholas) Taleb is an asshole and hate him.
– And then there are others who think Taleb is an asshole and love him

Either ways, you can’t ignore Nassim Nicholas Taleb – he brings extremely rare insights and perspectives on many of our long held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion and in general, the type of people who are often seen as thought leaders – but without any skin in the game (the ones I have always been questioning on NextBigWhat).

Here are some quotes from the book which hits hard.

‘Skin in the game means that you do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line’

Those who don’t take risks should never be involved in making decisions.

Avoid taking advice from someone who gives advice for a living, unless there is a penalty for their advice.

frequently one is “right” about outcomes, but how much one makes when one is right. Being wrong, when it is not costly, doesn’t count—in a way that’s similar to trial-and-error mechanisms of research.

Someone with a high public presence who is controversial and takes risks for his opinion is less likely to be a bull***t vendor.

The core idea of Skin in the game is very simple : If you don’t have skin in the game, you shouldn’t be playing the game (applies to every ‘expert’ and guru in the VC/startup industry – do read my earlier notes on babaism in the startup industry).

While you might found the book to be a bit aggressive (and sometimes obnoxious) in the tone (that’s Taleb), stick to the core message and you will come out questioning everything.

Highly recommended, if like me, you are the one who can’t take fake smiles and gyaan.