Latest Entries
Why 6 out of 10 Restaurants Fail Within the First Three Years
Everyday Systems

Why 6 out of 10 Restaurants Fail Within the First Three Years

As Taiwanese immigrants, my parents owned a small but successful Chinese restaurant in the suburbs north of San Francisco. So while everyone else was out doing whatever kids do on Saturday nights, I’m usually getting first hand experience in the restaurant business by learning everything from waiting tables to preparing food. But the most important … Continue reading

How Organizations Fight Complexity With More Complexity, And Fail To See the Big Picture
Business

How Organizations Fight Complexity With More Complexity, And Fail To See the Big Picture

Organizations are expected to thrive in a world that has become increasingly complex. We have more data today than we have the time to understand. Change accelerates faster than we can proactively plan for. And countries, industries, ecosystems are more connected than ever. All this means that it becomes harder to understand how our present … Continue reading

How Network Effects Determine the Language You Speak, the Phone You Buy, and the Person You Date
Business

How Network Effects Determine the Language You Speak, the Phone You Buy, and the Person You Date

High-growth startup companies live and die by their ability to power Reinforcing Loops for growth. The loop might be for number of users (Facebook), number of reviews (Yelp), number of hosts (AirBnB), number of contributors (Wikipedia), or number of drivers (Uber). If they can’t grow these, they won’t make money. And if they run out … Continue reading

Feedback Loops in Games – What Makes Monopoly, World of Warcraft, and Mario Kart So Much Fun
Everyday Systems

Feedback Loops in Games – What Makes Monopoly, World of Warcraft, and Mario Kart So Much Fun

We’ve tackled everything from epidemics, labor unions, and skyrocketing rent prices in San Francisco, but today we’re going to nerd out and talk about games. And when we say games, we’re not talking about game theory or a hypothetical model for decision making. We’re talking about real games. Hardcore games like League of Legends and … Continue reading

A Systems Story – How to communicate systems thinking in 5 minutes
Systems Thinking Wisdom

A Systems Story – How to communicate systems thinking in 5 minutes

This excellent creative video presents a solid introduction to systems thinking for all age groups, told through the lens of Love. If you’ve been looking for ways to communicate systems thinking without jumping too far into technical jargon and complicated visuals, here’s an excellent start. On top of sharing the importance of understanding systems, it briefly … Continue reading

Why Interest Groups Hold Power
Policy Issues

Why Interest Groups Hold Power

American sports fanatics crowd around their televisions every Monday night to cheer on their favorite buff men tackling each other on Monday Night Football, the most popular cable broadcast on Mondays. Sports fans will study box scores and put their real emotions and money on the line for fantasy sports competitions. This same passionate group can pressure city politicians … Continue reading