Think Like a Freak

Book Review: Think Like a Freak
Authors: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner


This is a book about challenging the way you think. It is applicable to both your business and your personal life, in fact, all aspects of your life. The authors argue that until we can successfully challenge our preconceptions we will never be able to take each individual problem on it’s merits and therefore understand how to fix it forever! It is a great book for anyone interested in how their brain works.  It is also great for anyone who is looking for new ways to solve existing problems that just don’t seem to go away. It’s also a fascinating and enjoyable read.

This fascinating book has been written with the authors trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.

The authors offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems which is 100% relevant to the owners of small businesses where problems can continually arise that prevent progress and growth. The topics covered range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. The wide range of topics helps keep readers interested and although this could be classified as a ‘self-help’ book it doesn’t ever feel like one.  Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.

Seven Steps to thinking like a Freak:

  1. First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it.
  2. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to.
  3. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions.
  4. Find the root cause of a problem—because attacking the symptoms, as often happens, rarely fixes the underlying issue.
  5. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world.
  6. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day.
  7. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.