Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb

Skin in the Game is part of Taleb’s five part series “Incerto” (latin for “uncertainty”).

Other books in the series include “Black Swan” (a huge success and which we are reading as we speak), “Antifragile” and “Fooled by Randomness” (both on the book shelf awaiting their turn).

In a time when there seems to be no consequences for the actions of big business (Wall Street investment banks), yet the little guys are overburdened by regulation, and overreach, from do-gooder bureaucrats, Skin in the Game is a timely reminder of home truths.

Our ever-expanding modern bureaucracies (including government agencies) create scenarios where by decision makers are conveniently separated from the consequences of their actions, ultimately to the detriment of us all despite their proclaimed best intentions.

They exist in a protected world akin to academia.

And as Taleb argues, “in academia there is no difference between academia and the real world, in the real world, there is.”

Any small business owner knows that having skin in the game (risk of loss) is necessary to truly understand the world. And that you can only truly trust someone who has skin in the game.

Taleb presents the case that –

“those who don’t take risks, should never be involved in making decisions!”

We couldn’t help but be drawn to the ideas of this book.  Though we will acknowledge many won’t find it an easy read.

Taleb can be humorous without doubt, though usually in a rather dry sarcastic manner which won’t appeal to some.

But nevertheless, we found value in this absorbing read.

“If you give an opinion, and someone follows it, you are morally obligated to be, yourself, exposed to its consequences.”