"Don’t Trust Your Gut" by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Review by Borodutch

I picked up this title completely accidentally — it was on sale on Audible. Imagine my surprise when I learned this is the next book by one of my favorite authors who wrote "Everybody Lies!" This time, the author talks about counter- and counter-counter-intuitive insights one can get from pure data. Here are my notes:

  • Don't trust your gut to make decisions — more often than not, you will be wrong.
  • To be more attractive on dating websites as a man, earn more, and choose a better occupation— being a lawyer vs accountant is way more important than making an extra $50k.
  • You're more likely to match with someone similar to you — as opposed to the notion that opposites attract.
  • Looks matter. You can use data science, photo filters, and survey apps to find the best look. It's the difference between a five and a seven, for instance. Lightning and photo quality matters, too.
  • Desirable qualities aren't the same as the qualities that make one a good lifelong partner. Instead, the best predictor if a person will be a good partner is if they are already satisfied with most of the aspects of their life and if they have a growth mindset (improving themselves constantly).
  • Some people are genetically more attractive — e.g., tall men. 6 inches of height account for a $175k jump.
  • We spend too much time doing things that don't give us happiness and too little time doing things that bring us the most satisfaction. Look up the happiness table and select the best activities to make yourself happy.
  • Startup founders don't have to be under 25 to succeed. In reality, the average age of a successful founder is way higher.
  • The popular notion is somewhat wrong: it's difficult to innovate in a new space. Most innovations come from people who spend a lot of time in an area.
  • The best thing you can do for your child is to move to a better area and expose them to a higher-quality neighborhood.
  • Also, look up behavioral genetics; the author spends a lot of time on this and on how parents' actions are responsible for way less of their children's personality than we think.

The points above are just what I noted when listening to the book. I recommend picking up "Don't Trust Your Gut" as a high-quality read!