Talk References, Attributions, and More

Authors and Books

This talk is built upon the works of these authors. I highly recommend all of them.

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist that has studied how people make risk-related decisions. In the context of this talk, I draw upon Kahneman's work, namely the disposition effect, to explain risk aversion to R&D.


Nassim Taleb is an author and intellectual who has studied probability, asymmetry, and randomness as it relates to risk. In the context of this talk, I draw upon Taleb's work to provide a framework for properly understanding the risks and payoffs associated with R&D and to suggest a strategy for implementing R&D.


Seth Godin is a marketing strategist who speaks about how to succeed in the post-industrial era. In the context of this talk, I draw upon Godin's work to privide additional motivation to pursue R&D and real-world examples.



Apple R&D budget increase.

Coca-Cola Japan new products.

Seth Godin quote "We often stop surprising ourselves (and the market) not because we're no good anymore, but because we are good. So good that we avoid opportunities that bring possibility."

An overview of Prospect Theory and the Disposition Effect

Taleb discussing Antifragility and the three modes (Fragile, Robust, and Antifragile).

Seth Godin quote "The only reason to venture into the land of the new is to benefit from the leap that comes when you get it right."

Charles Goodyear, Alexander Flemming, Wilson Greatbach accidental inventions.

Barbell strategy. See Taleb, N. (2007, 2010). The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility". New York, NY: Random House. p. 205-6, 207, 301, 313, 326-327, 328.

Google 20 percent time program

Image Attributions

Cover image of fighter pilot testing plane by Michael Blann, licensed through Getty Images.

Dice image by Diacritica, licensed via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Strong Man image by G. Lekegian, licensed via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic.

All other images and diagrams photographed or created by me.

Related Information

Seth Godin's Blog

Taleb and Kahneman talking about Antifragility and Risk Aversion

A list of Taleb videos online

Questions and Comments

Have questions or comments about this talk? Want me to give this talk at your company? Contact me at

All contents 1999-2013 James Coulter except where stated otherwise.