Hanging Out My Speaker’s Shingle

I was re­cently in­vited to give a talk on heuris­tics and bi­ases at Jane Street Cap­i­tal, one of the top pro­pri­etary trad­ing firms (“pro­pri­etary” = they trade their own money). When I got back home, I re­al­ized that (a) I’d suc­cess­fully man­aged to work through the trip, and (b) it’d been very pleas­ant men­tally, a nice change of pace. (One of these days I have to blog about what I dis­cov­ered at Jane Street—it turns out they’ve got their own ra­tio­nal­ist sub­cul­ture go­ing.)

So I’ve de­cided to hang out my shin­gle as a speaker at fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies.

You may be think­ing: “Per­haps, Eliezer, this is not the best of times.”

Well… I do have hopes that, among the firms in­ter­ested in hav­ing me as a speaker, a higher-than-usual per­centage will have come out of the crash okay. I checked re­cently to see if this were the case for Jane Street Cap­i­tal, and it was.

But more im­por­tantly—your com­peti­tors are learn­ing the se­crets of ra­tio­nal­ity! Are you?

Or maybe I should frame it as: “Not do­ing too well this year? Drop the ex­pen­sive big-name speak­ers. I can give a fas­ci­nat­ing and use­ful talk and I won’t charge you as much.”

And just to offer a bit of a car­rot—if I can mon­e­tize by speak­ing, I’m much less likely to try charg­ing for ac­cess to my fu­ture writ­ings. No promises, but some­thing to keep in mind. So do recom­mend me to your friends as well.

I ex­pect that, as I speak, the marginal value of money to my work will go down; the more I speak, the more my price will go up. If my (fu­ture) pop­u­lar book on ra­tio­nal­ity be­comes a hit, I’ll up­grade to big-name fees. And later in my life, if all goes as planned, I’ll be just plain not available.

So I’m offer­ing you, my trea­sured read­ers, a chance to get me early. I would sug­gest refer­enc­ing this page when re­quest­ing me as a speaker. Emails will be an­swered in the or­der they ar­rive.