Book Review: "Scarcity"

What's my rating for "Scarcity"?

I gave the book a 4.5 out of 5 Rockstar rating.

Scarcity captures the mind…when we experience scarcity of any kind, we become absorbed by it. The mind orients automatically, powerfully, toward unfulfilled needs…Scarcity is more than just the displeasure of having very little. It changes how we think.
— Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir, Scarcity, p. 7.

The insights I gained while reading this book has informed no fewer than sixteen articles and a number of talks I’ve written and delivered since discovering it in 2014. It helped me explain a number of situations I’d faced or witnessed others face where, no matter what we did over the short to medium-term, our situation seemed to either stay the same or get worse, almost akin to being caught in a rip tide. 

It can also give us the information we need to be more empathetic—and possibly more helpful—when we see others experience various types of scarcity in their own lives.

The book is organized in three parts:

  1. Defining scarcity and how it affects us
  2. Explaining the self-perpetuating nature of scarcity
  3. Offering recommendations to reduce the scarcity that social systems and organizations experience

To find out more about the book and my thoughts about it, read my full review here.