Psychology | Business | Marketing — When I’m not reading, I’m writing 📬 Subscribe to receive 2 hand-picked articles each month ➡ https://bit.ly/3kCt4L

The bald writer in a nutshell — my best stories so far, contact info, and newsletter.

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration by my friend @Evanimatic

Hey, it’s Nabil. You’ve probably just read one of my articles, got curious about me and my content, so you clicked on my profile and here you are: looking for clues to help you decide if I’m relevant to follow. Well then, shall we?

Personal Stuff

I’m 28 years old. I’ve spent most of my time on earth pleasing everyone around me and ended-up not knowing where the heck I’m headed. Eventually, I got tired and stopped to get my sh*t together. A few things have been helping me: exercising, reading, and writing.

As I’m writing these lines, I’ve taken a break from my work as an engineer and consultant in Paris. Yes, I quit my job to devote more time to writing. …


SELF-IMPROVEMENT

And what you can learn from her tragic mistakes.

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration provided to the author by Tauland Sinani

Lisa knew that if she wanted to drive 950 miles in less than 15 hours, she had to forgo any pit stops — so she brought diapers.

Diapers weren’t the weirdest thing Lisa took before hitting the road. She loaded her car trunk with a steel mallet, a buck knife, a BB gun with ammo, latex gloves, tape, garbage bags, and pepper spray. Fortunately, Lisa managed to use only the latter in her kidnapping attempt.

Lisa’s criminal adventure started with a discovery from the day before. When she found out her boyfriend had left her for another woman — Colleen Shipman, the emotional impulse to react was too hard to resist, even for an intellectual-elite like Lisa. …


Numerosity — a set of psychological biases that bend perception

photo of Steve Jobs superimposed on a background of numbers and equations
photo of Steve Jobs superimposed on a background of numbers and equations
Created by the author from Pixabay and Pngimg.com

It took Steve Jobs less than 49 minutes to shock the whole music industry with the iPod release in 2001.

The ensuing marketing shockwave spread over the following decade and brought Apple over 300 million sales. In theory, Steve Jobs managed to put an iPod in every American's pocket by the year 2011.

During his presentation, Jobs swung several outstanding numbers in front of the press:

  • 10 hours of autonomy
  • ultra-compact size of 2.4 x 4.0 inches
  • uploading time 30 times faster than with CDs
  • 20 minutes of song skip protection

As outstanding as they were, the previous numbers were merely fireworks following up on a marketing explosion Jobs triggered as soon as he started to describe the iPod. …


Conquer your fears by emulating psychotherapy methods.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels — modified by the author

Normally I’m a fairly mild-mannered guy: it takes a bit to really irritate me. But, if you want a shortcut to get me going, you have two options: you can oversimplify sophisticated concepts or take credit away from people.

The grey-haired guy in a black suit did both before our elevator hit the floor.

We’ll call him Grey — the badge on his shirt referred to him as a tech company senior manager. I wasn’t trying to listen to his ‘private’ conversation, but the elevator was small, and hey, it’s human nature. “Those astronauts didn’t know FEAR. There’s NO WAY they did!”


Turn jumping to conclusions into decision-making tools

An aged man in police uniform in the middle of a Pride parade.
An aged man in police uniform in the middle of a Pride parade.
Photo by Brian Kyed on Unsplash

According to the Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, we understand how stereotypes work when we realize we’re dealing with two elements: Statistics and Cognitive biases.

Statistics is a discipline scientists invented to quantify and analyze data in a precise and objective manner. For instance, “I eat meat 0 times per week” is a statistic.

As for cognitive biases, they are systematic errors our brains make while processing information. Upon hearing the “0 meat” statistic, many people would think I’m vegetarian — which is inaccurate because I might enjoy eating fish. Jumping to such a conclusion results from the availability bias: the tendency to make judgments based on immediate examples. …


The Eisenhower Matrix will cut through your hesitation

Woman staring at a chess board
Woman staring at a chess board
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Before becoming the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander in World War II.

Back in his fighting days, Eisenhower had many life-and-death decisions to make and priorities to establish. In doing so, Eisenhower would remember a quote from an acquaintance of his:

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are seldom important, and the important are seldom urgent.”

To get around this pertinent statement, Eisenhower analyzed his problems to tackle the most urgent and important issues first.

The very same principle was later picked up by time-management experts who transformed it into a prioritization tool for industrial projects. They called it the Eisenhower Matrix, and it looks like…


How Google and Wall Street exemplify that patterns are illusions.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

What if I told you that almost every success story you heard had been built around an illusion? That every lesson you thought you’ve learned is worthless; that the only pattern for success is randomness?

Sit tight because that’s what you’re about to read.

Suppose you’re a top trader at a Wall Street firm. You’ve spent eight years buying and selling stocks to increase the wealth of people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Oprah. Though you’ve never met your rich investors, you know they love you. Your annual bonuses and bosses’ smiles testify to that.

You wake up one morning to attend a seminar about the influence of your mind on your investment decisions. Your plan? Leverage science to take your trading game to an even greater level. …


Your impact on yourself and the world is greater than you think.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

We don’t always understand life nor our involvement with the chains of events that shape it. Our limited comprehension makes it easy to think that none of what we do matters — but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tina was enjoying a beautiful day in a park when she noticed a gray donkey grazing nearby. Curious, she approached. Soon, she sensed something familiar about the children who had gathered around the peaceful creature.

Ten seconds went by before Tina recognized her ex-boyfriend’s nephews. What were they doing in Prague, though? That’s a long way from Moscow. It turned out their mother Natasha, who was sitting close by, had brought her kids to Prague on vacation. Tina hesitated. …


Should you drive away customers on purpose?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

You’re sitting with a group of friends, and although the conversation is flowing smoothly, — something feels off. All of a sudden, you find your aha when a guy from the group says, nice new haircut, Irene.

I’m often that guy — I notice the details. Sometimes, my acute awareness of things lands me in trouble; Irene’s boyfriend’s irritated reaction can testify to that. Other times though, it helps me spot ideas worth sharing.

This story is about a marketing lesson I picked up from a quirky message on a pizza menu hanging on an unpainted wall.

Maybe You Don’t Wanna Eat in Our Restaurant After All

Summer 2020, a few friends and I were zigzagging through masked tourists and exploring Carcassonne — an old city in France located between historic trade routes. …


Ignore your life problems, and they’ll turn into deadly monsters.

Image for post
Image for post
Customized illustration provided to the author by Abu — All rights reserved to the artist and the author.

Billy Bixbee was rather surprised when he woke up one morning and found a kitten-size dragon in his room. Billy patted the creature on its head before running downstairs to tell his mother.

“There’s NO SUCH THING as a dragon,” said Billy’s mother. Since she said it like she meant it, Billy listened — and thus, decided to ignore the dragon. Oddly, the more Billy and his mother ignored the dragon the bigger it got. Even when the dragon sat at their table and ate all the pancakes, Billy and his mother didn’t react. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store