Annie Duke Profile picture
Speaker/writer/student of decision science. New book #QUIT out now! Author of #ThinkinginBets & #HowToDecide. I used to play poker. Navigating uncertainty.
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Nov 18, 2022 11 tweets 5 min read
In < 2 weeks (Nov. 28) I’m launching my 1st cohort-based decision-making class on @MavenHQ. It’s for entrepreneurs, executive-level decision makers, investors & anyone seeking to make higher quality decisions in their business, work, and personal life.

1/ 11 Image I've been studying how to make better decisions under uncertainty my whole adult life: professional poker player career, work in cognitive science, writing 3 books about decision making & consulting w/ incredible companies like @firstround @RenegadePtnrs and @mParticle.
Nov 9, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Quitting gets a bad rap. Language favors grit over quitting. We’re taught that people who quit are cowards and that quitting is an obstacle to overcome.

I reject this. I wrote #QUIT to rehabilitate quitting’s image and to show people that it is a valuable decision skill and our best tool for making decisions under uncertainty.

Nov 3, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
The most meaningful conversations your team needs to be having (that you probably aren't already) are around quitting.


It’s critical to understand that while your intuition is probably telling you that improving quitting behavior won’t make a difference in your decision-making or your business – that intuition is not correct.

Oct 31, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Lead your team through this exercise during my Flight Cohort on @BalloonPlatform. You'll identify mission-critical parts to tackle first, create experiments to decide what’s worth pursuing, identify tasks to put on the backburner & build a project plan around these pieces.

1/4 I can guarantee using this framework with your team will help you make the best next move and save your team time, energy, and money.

Oct 25, 2022 6 tweets 1 min read
Inflexible goals aren’t a good fit for a flexible world.

After we set a goal, it becomes a fixed object.

The goal becomes the object of our grit, instead of all the values expressed and balanced when we originally set the goal, even as all the inputs that led to choosing that particular goal evolve.

Oct 25, 2022 9 tweets 3 min read
In #QUIT, I outline the various cognitive and motivational forces that work against good quitting behavior. There’s sunk cost bias, desire for certainty, escalation of commitment, status quo bias, and endowment bias (to name a few).

I go into different mental models and frameworks to build good quitting behaviors into your toolbox, like thinking in expected value, increasing flexibility in goal-setting, establishing “quitting criteria” and contracts, etc.

Oct 24, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
In part, what makes goals effective is that they get you to focus on the finish line and motivate you to keep going.

But goals also keep you from quitting in a bad situation because they focus you on the finish line and motivate you to keep going.

1/4 Why? In part, because they are graded as pass-fail.

300 feet from the summit of Everest is a failure. 25 miles of a marathon is a failure.

You achieve the goal or you don’t. Progress along the way matters very little.

2/ 4
Oct 19, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
When it comes to choices about quitting, you need to stop accepting, “I’m not ready to make a decision right now” as a sentence that makes sense. 
Here’s why…

Once you step back and think about it, you realize that deciding not to make a change is itself a decision. 
At any moment, when you’re pursuing a goal, you are choosing to either stick with it or quit.

Oct 17, 2022 9 tweets 2 min read
You are probably familiar with the concept of *𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻*.

But you may not have heard of *𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻*.

What is the difference?

One stops you from starting. The other stops you from stopping.

Loss aversion comes from Kahneman and Tversky and is part of prospect theory.

Loss aversion causes a preference for options with smaller potential downside, even if those options have a lower expected value.

Oct 14, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
If you quit on time, it will usually feel like you are quitting too early.

Just as you can’t be 100% how things are going to turn out when you start something, you also can’t be 100% sure how things turn out when you are considering quitting it.

That makes it hard to quit while there is still a chance things could turn around.

Oct 12, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Beware the power of positive thinking because it can make you stick to things too long.

Optimism causes you to overestimate both the likelihood and magnitude of success.

That means optimism, unchecked by realism, prevents you from quitting when you ought to walk away.

1/6 If (over) optimism improves performance, delusional confidence might be worth it.

If your business only has a 10% chance of success, maybe thinking you’re guaranteed to succeed improves your chances to 40%.

That boost might be worth the cost of being poorly calibrated. 2/6
Oct 11, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
When it comes to quitting, decide in advance.

You can do this through something I call *KILL CRITERIA.*

Kill criteria are one of the best tools for helping ensure that you quit sooner when persisting is no longer in your best interest. 1/ It's hard to make a good choice about whether to stick or quit when you're facing down the decision to walk away.

This is especially so b/c that is the moment you go from failing to having failed.

That is the moment that you cannot recover the cause. 2/
Oct 10, 2022 13 tweets 3 min read
.@cruickshank defends the California Bullet Train project, asserting it was smart to start building track in the Central Valley *because it was easier*, avoiding both NIMBY issues and the engineering challenges of blasting through mountains.


But *because it was easier* is exactly the problem with the project plan

The problem with the California Bullet Train has little to do with quibbles about the planned route and everything to do with Monkeys and Pedestals.

Oct 9, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
The hardest thing to quit is who you are.

What you do & what you believe can become part of your identity.

Abandoning part of your identity is hard so when the facts conflict w/ your beliefs, the facts too often lose out.

The more extreme the belief, the more it becomes part of who you are.

Extreme beliefs make you stand out from the pack which makes them more integral to your identity. 2/8
Oct 8, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
One way to become a better quitter?

Maximize the diversification of your interests, skills, and opportunities.

Having other options available reduces the uncertainty about what comes next that can prevent you from quitting. 1/5 Diversification affords you a softer landing whether you quit voluntarily or are forced to.

It also helps you make more rational decisions about walking away because it’s easier to walk away when you know what you’re walking *toward.*

Oct 7, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
If you quit on time, it will *usually* feel like you quit too early.

Quitting is a decision we usually get to too late, partly because if you quit when the time is right you won’t know *for sure* that it is the best choice. 1/ When it comes to walking away, meaning abandoning all the resources of time & energy & money & attention we have put into something, we have a need to be sure there is no other choice.

That means we won’t walk away until it's a dead certainty that we can’t turn things around. 2/
Oct 4, 2022 14 tweets 4 min read
So grateful to @astroteller and @theteamatx for all their help with #QUIT. 1/

QUIT: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away Aside from just being a super cool dude, @astroteller is obsessed with getting people to quit things on time, maybe more obsessed than I am! 2/
Oct 4, 2022 18 tweets 7 min read
So much gratitude to @R_Thaler, not just for blurbing #QUIT, but for his support from the beginning of the writing process. Richard is such a giant in the field of behavioral economics. His research is so foundational to the ideas in the book. @R_Thaler, winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in Economic Sciences, was kind enough to hop a zoom call with a stranger to discuss our bias against quitting. That first call turned into many more over the course of a year.
Oct 2, 2022 11 tweets 2 min read
QUIT shouldn’t be a dirty word.

In the popular mind, quitting means failing, capitulating, losing. Quitting is a weakness, a vice. 1/ In comparison, grit is a virtue. Perseverance builds character. In fact, it is character. The ones who stick with it are the heroes of the story. 2/
Oct 1, 2022 6 tweets 4 min read
Huge thank you to @BrianChristian for blurbing #QUIT. Brian is the author of ALGORITHMS TO LIVE BY along with the incomparable Tom Griffiths. It is a perennial best seller that explores how simple computer algorithms can untangle human decision making.… ALGORITHMS TO LIVE BY offers deep insight into “when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one’s inbox to peering into the future” MUST READ!
Sep 29, 2022 9 tweets 5 min read
So grateful to Daniel Kahneman for blurbing #QUIT. Also shoutout to @WolfeJosh who introduced me to Danny 4 years ago. What an amazing intro! Danny was incredibly generous w/his time during the writing process, hopping on many zooms with me to help me think through the topic. Kahneman’s work, much of it with Amos Tversky, is so foundational to the ideas in #QUIT. The concept of sure loss aversion (the bias against turning paper losses into realized losses, which stops you from stopping things when you are in the losses) comes from those conversations.