Here are some of my favourite shop names:
- Tanarife (Sunbeds, Liverpool)
- Foamula 1 (Car wash, Liverpool)
- Fry Days (Chippy, Watford)
- Injeaneus (Clothes, Radlett)
Here are some of my favourite shop names:
In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”
“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.
See Martin Wolf’s re-telling of the Ant and the Grasshopper as a modern fable here.
Many people will say that they want to take more control over their current spending and future financial security, but often find it difficult to actually achieve this. I’m not wealthy, and am not promising you riches. All I can offer is a process by which you can gain a better understanding of your personal finances.
I don’t enjoy being asked to make donations to charity, and not solely because I’m a tight, selfish bastard. It’s because it’s a form of bullying – you are put under social pressure to make a quick decision. My response is to have an articulated approach to charitable donations, which serves as a defense mechanism and means I can avoid treating each request as something that requires my attention. I prefer to have a charity rule, rather than have to judge each request on its case-by-case merits. In a nutshell here it is:
The following is a great template for requesting decision rights within an organisation:
See Koch, C., 2015 Good Profit, Crown Business
In May 1997 I applied for the Everton managers job, and received a nice reply from Peter Johnson. Over the next few years I decided to apply to as many Premier League managers jobs as I could, and eventually built a collection of rejection letters. I rediscovered them in November 2015 and here they are:
I still live in hope.
This page is intended to provide information for students that are considering asking me to supervise their dissertation.
I think there are three ingredients for success:
(1) Choose an insightful research question in an interesting topic
I consider the power of economic reasoning to stem from its applicability, and therefore take a broad and eclectic position of what would constitute suitable subject material. For a general management thesis I don’t require students to work on the same research topics that I do. Indeed, there are several topics that I have thoughts and ideas on that I’d be delighted to see students run with:
(2) Utilise the right methodological framework
Although I’ve created an online course on Analytics my methodological interests are in qualitative and comparative methods.
There are also a few techniques that I am willing to work with students interested in using, regardless of the topic
(3) Demonstrate competent project planning
This is crucial because it determined whether the experience is enjoyable or not. The following are necessary (but not sufficient) characteristics I would look for:
Here’s a great template for writing a research article. Also see the list of “How to” on the right hand side of this website.
These are only general guidelines and there’ll always be a gap between my judgement and your understanding of my judgment. But just because the grading is subjective does not make it arbitrary. I will assign an A, B, C or D grade to the following dimensions:
For more details on grade ranges see page 8 of my guide for students, however you should adjust the passing grades such that what I deem to be a C grade for a thesis would get a mark of 55-60; a B is 70-80 and an A is 85+.
I make a solo trip around once a month and have created a set of routines that serve me well. I find travelling to be an important component of being an academic because it provides time and space to concentrate and reflect (i.e. travelling helps me to be a secular hermit). Some of the advice below is a little haphazard, but it’s a work in progress.
For very short trips I’ll use a hold all but for anything more than 3 nights I’ll take my Rimowa Topas. This has the benefit of holding everything I need (i’ve used it for 2 week beach holidays) but small enough to fit as carry on if necessary. This can be handy if there’s a queue for bag drop but I prefer to check it. I’ve only ever had my suitcase go missing once and so I wouldn’t keep critical documents in it, but they are hassle to carry around with you (especially if you like to spend time at the airport). I very rarely clear customs before the bags are at reclaim so I don’t feel that checked baggage slows me down. And for connecting flights it makes things significantly easier.
If you’re going to a conference don’t forget:
I carry a charging station whenever I have a bag with me. The main items are a spare battery (handy for on the plane) and charging cables. This is all you need because usually there’ll be a USB socket in the back of the TV. However I love the design of the Mu classic and the phone charges much quicker from a wall socket. I tend to think that an adaptor is not worth the added hassle but perhaps Mu can change my mind. I also include a small torch for blackouts.
A good wash bag should be light and adapt to the contents. There’s no point having a bulky item of luggage that is only half full. I pack the following:
Note that all of these items are easy to duplicate. Therefore have them in your wash bag and keep them there. What is the point in using the same toothbrush, and having to remember to pack and unpack it before and after every trip? Duplicate!
(2) The airport
Yes, I know Tyler Cowen’s advice that if you’ve never missed a plane it means you’ve spent too much of your life at airports. But I do not understand this because time at an airport is highly productive. As Craig Mod says,
You are hacking the airport by arriving early, knowing that all the work you could have done at home — the emails or writing or photo editing — can be done at the airport.
I plan to arrive at least 2 hours before my flight, even if I’m checked in, have my boarding card, and taking carry on luggage. For most people 30 minutes at home is better than 30 minutes at an airport, but once you pass security anxiety drops. Those extra 30 minutes you could have spent at home are fraught because you need to remember to remember your passport; consider traffic; wonder about queues, etc. Once you’ve cleared security you can relax. I don’t use lounges and am perfectly happy to just buy a coffee, find a seat, put on earphones, and read a good book.
(3) The airplane
Try to stick to one airline. The benefits of a loyalty programme are worth being loyal for.
I need an aisle seat. Not just so that I can get to the toilet easily (which incentivises me to drink more water, which is good) but it also means that I can go for a walk to stretch my legs.
Obviously if you are in an aisle seat you should be sympathetic to letting people get out. I will sometimes try to sleep and have no problem at all with being woken. The problem I have is people who are constantly getting things from their bags.
What to wear on a flight:
Embrace no wifi and read:
Try to stick to one hotel chain. The benefits of a loyalty programme are worth being loyal for.
The mark of a good hotel room:
I have a reputation for being demanding when I am a visiting lecturer but I am nothing compared to the amazing set of instructions that Richard Stallman sends his hosts. I have simple preferences (e.g. a working shower, mineral water) but put great weight on them being satisfied. One of my preferences is alone time. As Stallman says,
Many people assume that because I am traveling, I am having a vacation–that I have no other work to do, so I can spend the whole day speaking or meeting with people. Some hosts even feel that they ought to try to fill up my time as a matter of good hospitality. Alas, it’s not that way for me.
There are a few cities that I travel to frequently and will often try to spend time with friends. But there is an odd tendency from some cultures to feel obliged to “entertain” you, or to treat your whole schedule as theirs. If I’ve been in a classroom all day I may need the evenings to respond to emails and do other work. Learning that a mysterious person will be at my hotel room at 9pm to take me for dinner is my idea of hell.
When abroad I like to tip. Always leave a tip when you check out of a hotel room. If I’m not sure what an appropriate tip is I use the price of a pint of beer in local currency as a good benchmark.
We think that games have an important place in cultivating good strategists, and that now more than ever games can give executives an edge over their competition.
Reeves and Wittenburg, Harvard Business Review
In addition to my online (and offline) course on Game Theory, I also offer students the opportunity to enjoy some “Game Practice”. Get in touch if you would like me to organise sessions of any of the following:
I don’t define a lifehack as a shortcut or “good idea”, but as when you productively use a tool for a task that it wasn’t intended to perform.
in addition to the above, there are a few lifehacks that I’ve seen elsewhere and believe should be more widely known: