On Incentives

orange carrots on table

A collection of thoughts about incentives:

  1. Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time available.
  2. What gets measured gets managed.
  3. Goodhart’s Law: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
  4. Society is good at training talent but terrible at cultivating genius. Talent is predictable, genius is unpredictable.
  5. People tend to focus on easy-to-understand ideas at the expense of important but hard to talk about ideas.
  6. An idea will gain traction once it enters the mainstream, not because it’s true but because it’s popular.