Notes from Sam Hinkie's resignation letter

Michael Dariano
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UPDATE: 1/21/17 Suspended Indefinitely

If you are someone committed to thinking about thinking, you will like this. 

If you read my blog,, you will like this.

If you listen to my podcast, you will like this. 

We're going to study the dead

Not a real death, only that of Sam Hinkie's career as GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. His letter of resignation - published by ESPN - is full of ideas, theories, and concepts that we have to figure out. 

Why? Because we get to. Here's a real, in the moment chance, to get around survivor bias and peek behind the curtain in one of the most competitive industries in the world.  Who wouldn't jump at this chance?

Bill Simmons called the letter, "the weirdest thing I've read all year." The letter was mocked by others. Why? 

My guess is because Hinkie tried to explain thinking about thinking to people who weren't ready. I wasn't ready for it either. Then I read it again. I recognized patterns. I saw themes. I thought

Four themes emerged: 

  • How to zig when others zag.
  • How to be curious.
  • How to think long-term.
  • How to have optionality.

Beyond these, smaller ideas were covered too (mental models, skin in the game, market leaders, principal/agent problems, among others). In all this though there are ideas that anyone can use. No matter what field you work in or who you work with. Anyone can learn from Hinkie's mistakes.  What's more powerful than that?

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Notes from Sam Hinkie's resignation letter

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I want this!