Skin in the Game - Talebs “Look The Part Test” taught me not to trust what I see!
Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Another good piece from Sahil Bloom. Nassim Nicholas Taleb famously proposed this rule of thumb in his best-selling book, Skin in the Game.
He talks about choosing between two surgeons of equal qualification and experience. One looks highly refined and one looks like a butcher. Quoting from the book: "Simply the one who doesn’t look the part, conditional of having made a (sort of) successful career in his profession, had to have much to overcome in terms of perception."
Generalizing the rule, if forced to choose between two options of seemingly equal merit, choose the one that doesn’t look the part.
The one who doesn’t look the part has had to overcome much more to achieve their status than the one who fits in perfectly.
My personal take on this is to trust experiences to an extent and test theories to another extent. The day I set firm on a method to judge is the day I failed myself and others. I will forever iterate. So remember to check in with yourself when speaking to candidates. Are you judging them? Would you feel the same if they looked differently? I dont necessarily agree with Taleb's default choice to go with the choice that looks less “the part” because in our world “look” can be translated into communication, background, education and so much more.
Here’s a link to the book on Amazon.