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Monday, December 06, 2010

Review: Priceless

I picked up Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) in the hopes of better understanding how pricing works, and how to tell if I've mis-priced my books, for instance. I was a little bit disappointed, despite the fact that the book overall, is a good read and has valid and interesting points.

Why? A lot of it is that I've read too many books recently referencing Kahneman and Tversky, to the point where Priceless just feels as though it's rehashing the story behind the excellent work of these two gentlemen. Looking at just this year's reading list, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and to some extent ECONNed have all covered similar ground. Yes, I understand loss aversion, yes I understand anchoring, but no, you're not telling me how to really take advantage of it, except to the limited extent that I already do.

The book is composed of many short chapters, each of whom can be read independently in little bite-sized chunks. While this is great for those with a web-based attention spans, that makes the narrative lose coherence, as there is frequently no linkage between chapters. By itself that's not a fatal flaw, but the result was that I felt like I was getting a cliff's note version of several other books I had already read.

All in all, while I enjoyed the book, I find the other books previously mentioned were just a little fresher. I guess this book is the victim of its timing. Nevertheless, if you've not read any of those books mentioned above, I can recommend this one.

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