About Preston Sumner

Preston Sumner, President of CEO Focus of Nevada (www.ceofocusnv.com), is a curious observer of and participant in business. His curiosity extends to domains such as psychology, sports, physics, and warfare. He finds that these other domains offer models and lessons for business performance.

Paradox of Progress

Paradox of Progress “There is a familiar story of a New York banker vacationing in Greece, who, from talking to a fisherman and scrutinizing the fisherman’s business, comes up for a scheme to help the fisherman make it a big business. The fisherman asked him what the benefits were; the banker answered that he [...]

By | December 9th, 2019|Categories: Lessons Learned, Management|Tags: , |0 Comments

Overconfidence

Overconfidence Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning behavioral economist, said that if he could eliminate only one human psychological bias, it would be overconfidence. In one study of American drivers, 93% claimed to be better than the median. Obviously only 50% can be better than the median. How can you deal with this all [...]

By | December 6th, 2019|Categories: Lessons Learned, Management|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Re-Framing

Re-Framing As CEOs and business owners gain knowledge and experience, they find their problem-solving skills growing. We gain confidence and make decisions with less stress and greater speed. Then we encounter a particularly vexing problem where our knowledge seems inadequate. When this occurs, it often helps to re-frame the problem. Let’s look at an example. WeWork [...]

Time Discounting

Time Discounting The value of something promised in the future is less than the value of that same thing received today. This is the concept of time discounting. This concept is a corollary of compound interest which Albert Einstein called the 8th wonder of the world. $1,000 earning 5% compounded annually will grow to [...]

By | November 19th, 2019|Categories: Decision Making, Forecasting|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Antifragility

Antifragility Antifragility is the characteristic of those things that gain from disorder and the title of a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. No word captured that concept of the opposite of fragility, so Taleb coined the obvious word “antifragile.” If the concept of gaining from disorder seems non-sensical, think about things such as vaccines, [...]

By | November 18th, 2019|Categories: Competitive Advantage, Management|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game “Skin in the Game” is a powerful book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Skin in the game requires exposure to not only the upside of your own actions but also the downside. That is the problem with the grant of large stock options to executives of public companies. There is no [...]

By | November 17th, 2019|Categories: Books, Management, Productivity|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Via Negativa

Via Negativa Via negativa is gaining through subtraction. Less is more is another way this is expressed. Charlie Munger attributes much of Berkshire Hathaway’s success to avoiding doing stupid things rather than trying to be brilliant. Eliminate bad habits. Cease doing useless things. The bad is often much more obvious than the good…identify it [...]

By | November 16th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Crowdsourcing – Wisdom or Madness?

Crowdsourcing - Wisdom or Madness? According to Nietzsche “Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, and nations it is the rule.”  James Surowiecki’s book “The Wisdom of Crowds” has popularized the opposite concept. Free market capitalism (Adams Smith’s “invisible hand”) and democracy are often used as examples of the wisdom of crowds [...]

By | November 16th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion Loss aversion is the strong and pervasive tendency to weight losses more heavily than gains of a like amount. Many studies have indicated that losses are weighted at least twice as heavily as the same gain. Nassim Nicholas Taleb points to the Stoic philosopher Seneca having noted this human trait in many of [...]

By | October 19th, 2018|Categories: Decision Making, Management|Tags: , , |0 Comments