BIO: Annie Duke loves to dive deep into decision-making under uncertainty. Her latest obsession is the topic of quitting.
STORY: Annie’s worst investment ever was becoming a poker player.
LEARNING: It’s ok to do a few different things at a time. Quit more if you have to.
Annie Duke loves to dive deep into decision-making under uncertainty. Her latest obsession is the topic of quitting. In particular, she is on a mission to rehabilitate the term and get people to be proud of walking away from things. Annie is an author, speaker, and consultant in the decision-making space, as well as Special Partner, focused on Decision Science at First Round Capital Partners, a seed stage venture fund. Annie’s latest book, Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away, was released October 4, 2022, from Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint. Her previous book, Thinking in Bets, is a national bestseller.
Worst investment ever
Annie had been pursuing a Ph.D. in cognitive science for five years. The plan was to become a tenure track professor. Right at the end of her time at university, Annie started suffering from stomach problems, which became acute. She got pretty sick and landed in the hospital. Annie then decided to take a year off. She needed money during that year off, so she started playing poker to make money.
Annie considers going into poker her worst investment ever because there wasn’t a lot of process behind that decision. She just thought it would be a fun way to make the money she badly needed. She didn’t think about the consequences of that decision, and even though she did well at playing poker and had some pretty good wins, Annie wishes she had put more thought into it.
If the time and investment are small to complete something, just do it.
Do things in parallel. That means it’s ok to do a few different things at a time.
Keep your investments robust, not just against luck, but against your poor decision-making.
Your focus doesn’t need to be single-minded.
No.1 goal for the next 12 months
Annie’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to finish her PhD. to create more time for things that are outside of work.
“Don’t be afraid of quitting. When things aren’t working out, get to that decision earlier. It’s going to move you along in your life faster.”