I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, with great interest and delight. Gladwell is a fantastic author: always thought-provoking on human behavior and a quick, entertaining read. But I confess this book did not resonate with me or strike me as relevant for the VC-entrepreneur dance in the same way his previous book, Blink, did (see: VCs Blink). It was intellectually interesting, but not professionally illimunating.
Instead, I have been even more taken by another book, which also analyzes human behavior in a thought-provoking way called Sway. Written by Ori and Rom Brafman, Sway was recommended to me by my friend and co-investor Howard Morgan at First Round Capital. It is a fascinating analysis of why human beings naturally fall into irrational behavior. The book has very relevant implications for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, particularly in today’s environment, as VCs are likely to allow irrational behavior to seep into their portfolio management decisions in the coming years.