Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Richard Thaler’s long overdue Nobel prize

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 | News, Thoughts

This week, it was announced that Richard Thaler had been awarded the Nobel prize for economics. It is long overdue. Here is why.

Thaler is best known for his 2008 book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness which he co-authored with Cass Sunstein. He was a summation of his many years of work on behavioural economics. You can read my review here.

This understates his contribution though: Thaler is considered by many to be the father of behavioural economics.

To understand why that is important, we need to look at what behavioural economics is. Economics, as a subject, has been around for thousands of years. Except that in many ways it really hasn’t. Traditionally, at least in recent tradition, it has focused on building financial models based on people making perfectly rational decisions.

Take the free market, for example. If you put prices up, you decrease demand. It’s nice and simple.

But then Thaler came along and said: “hang on, do people act like rational beings all of the time?” The answer, of course, was no. And a new field of economics was born: behavioural economics. The study of what people actually do.

But what exactly is non-behavioural economics? The more you think about it, the more you realise that we can basically can anything we thought we knew about economics beforehand, because all economics should be behavioural economics. Models that use “econs” rather than “humans” do not work in the real world. Which is where all research should eventually have some kind of relevance.

So, well done to the Nobel prize selection committee for making such an excellent choice. In a perfect world, it would have happened much sooner. But the selection committee, like the rest of us, are humans, not econs.

The last holdout of Chinatown has fallen

Monday, May 22nd, 2017 | News

I’m sad to report that the last remaining restaurant of Leeds’s Chinatown has closed down.

Not that it was ever that big: a total of three restaurants. Hometown, Tong Palace and Ho’s. Plus the international supermarket remains, and Crown Buffet and Oriental City are nearby (though Mulan has also closed).

Luckily, the area booms with great food. Thai A Roy Dee, Zaap Thai and Bar Soba all provide Asian cuisine. But given Hometown and Ho’s were such enjoyable restaurants to visit, it is a shame that the street is now bereft of Chinese restaurants.

Sadly, restaurants live or die for a variety of reasons that you may not expect. Which is why I wrote a book about it.

Do More, Worry Less published

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 | Books, News

I’m pleased to announce the launch of Do More, Worry Less: Small Steps to Reduce Your Anxiety. As of yesterday, it is available in the Worfolk Anxiety web store, as well as via Amazon and iTunes.

Like any book, it takes a long time to put together. Arguably, this was a quick one: it’s taken me over six months, but the restaurant guide took years. However, it has been a long time in the making. The research in the book has taken years to accumulate. And there is a lot of it. 291 footnotes and citations to be exact.

The book takes you on a journey, exploring what anxiety is, why it prevents us from reaching our goals and the proven strategies and tactics to overcome these problems and hit your targets. It then explores every aspect of lifestyle: exercise, diet, sleep, relaxation, personal growth, relationships and community to find the things that improve your mental health and what to do about them.

You can find out more about the book here.

I’m on Udemy

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 | News

Last month, I launched the IT Career Acceleration course for IT professionals looking to take the next step in their career.

Advancing your career is like being an athlete. Even the best athletes in the world have a coach to help them improve. It’s the same thing when you are writing your CV, winning interviews or creating a promotion plan: you need a coach. The course provides that.

That’s all super, except that not everyone wants to have to set up a new account or put their credit card details into an unknown site.

At the same time, there are great education platforms, like Udemy, already out there.

This made a natural fit for the ITCMC content. Which is what I have done. You can now find the Career Acceleration course on Udemy. It includes all of the video lectures and workbooks you get from us direct. The only thing missing is the checklists.

It’s all backed up by Udemy’s 30-day refund policy. Not quite as good as the 60-day one you get direct, but it still makes the purchase risk-free.

Introducing the Human Baby Cookbook

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 | Books, News

Unlock the secrets to cooking human baby with this beautifully presented new cookbook.

Been tempted to try the other other white meat, but been confused by unclear instructions, endless barbeque sauce choices and the law? Never fear: let us take you by the hand. Learn how to buy, prepare and cook a meat that is abundant, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

This no-expense-spared hardback edition contains 31 delicious recipes, each illustrated with a full-page full-colour edge-to-edge photograph.

For anyone who considers themselves a foodie, this is a must by. Nobody could possibly walk past your bookshelf without commenting!

Order your copy now for £29.99 (plus shipping).

WAM anxiety challenge launches

Friday, March 31st, 2017 | News

Over at Worfolk Anxiety, we’ve just launched our 30-day challenge to help people reduce anxiety. It’s a free month of coaching where people get a different challenge to complete every day and a private support community to share experiences and access encouragement.

Pretty cool. But will it work?

The science says it will. The challenges are based on the lifestyle changes that drive improvements to mental health. I wrote about these in my book Technical Anxiety and look at them in far more detail in my upcoming book Do More, Worry Less.

But, of course, the science can say one thing: whether you can translate into success for people in real life is another. We’re working on a small scale: a few hundred people have signed up for the challenge. That is still enough to make me nervous, though. It needs to deliver.

We’re measuring the success as best we can so I will be able to write about the results next month. Until then, wish me luck!

IT Career Acceleration course

Friday, March 10th, 2017 | News

Today I am launching my new course: IT Career Acceleration. What is it and why should you do it?

First, it is targetted at people in IT. So if you work in a different industry, give it a miss. Second, it is designed to help you take the next step up the career ladder. So, if you are happy in the job you are in and do not want to earn any more money or get promoted, you can safely skip it too.

However, if you do want to progress your IT career, it will be of interest.

Simply put, it takes the best parts on CV writing, interview techniques and negotiating for more money from the IT Contracting Master Class, adds in some awesome stuff about how to get promoted, and packages it up for the same price as a £15 cup of coffee.

A course for winners

You probably already have a good CV and set of interview skills, right? That is how you have carved out a successful IT career already.

There is room for improvement, though. There always is. The best athletes in the world have a coach. Someone to help them refine their skills even further. That’s what this course does: it takes you from good to great.

Do not miss that perfect opportunity

Olympic athletes are a good comparison. They wait four years for the games to arrive. They get one shot, and then it is over. But they don’t spend the time in between sitting idle. They train so that when the opportunity comes along, they are ready.

Winning jobs is the same. Your dream job only comes along once. If you are not prepared, there is not much you can do to fix it in three days. You have to do the work in advance. Which is no big deal, right? Who isn’t willing to invest a few hours in their career?

Get started for free

The first five lessons of the course and the first workbook are free. IF you previously registered for the Master Class, you can use the same login details.

Read more about the course on the Master Class website.

ChrisWorfolk.com v6.2

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 | News

Earlier today, I pushed version 6.2 of my website live. I think we can say with reasonable certainty that you will be less excited about than I am. However, life is not about the opportunity you are handed. It is about what you do with it. So smile and think to yourself “wow, that is interesting!”.

Not much has changed. It looks mostly the same. On the homepage, the giant picture of my ugly face has been replaced by another giant ugly picture.

Books page

I have replaced the photos link at the top (photos can now be found in the “about me” section) with a page detailing all of my books. I like my photos, but most people are probably not looking for a gallery of shots when they visit the site. It is much better to follow me on Flickr.

About me sections

Most people are probably looking for one of three things when they visit my site: to find out more about my tech consultancy, to explore my food writing or to check out my work in mental health and wellbeing. To make this easier, the about me section is now divided along these three lines.

Social media

I’ve added all of my social media links to the footer. Why anyone would want that much Chris, I have no idea. Probably nobody does. But Elina might find them useful.

Why Restaurants Fail released today

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 | Books, News

My new book, Why Restaurants Fail – And What To Do About It, is now available. Here is the blurb:

Why do most restaurants close within three years? What secrets do the successful chains know, that the independent eateries do not?

The answer has almost nothing to do with how good the food is. In this book you will:

  • Learn the big 10 predictable and avoidable mistakes restaurateurs make
  • Discover the real reasons consumers choose one restaurant over another
  • Find proven strategies for increasing diner satisfaction, and revenue

For restaurant owners and managers, this could be the most important investment you make all year. For everyone else, it will be a fun read.

You will not get bored. At 52 pages, including the appendix and glossary, this books contains only good stuff; no filler. You will love this book. If not, use your retailer’s return policy to obtain a full refund.

It started appearing in stores late yesterday, and should be out everywhere by the end of today. It is available in paperback from Amazon and in eBook format from Amazon and Apple iBooks.

How to Exit Vim released

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 | Books, News

Today is the day: How to Exit Vim is now available to buy.

Vim is a command-line text editor in Linux. It is notoriously difficult to get out of it once you have gone in. So, I have written a book about how to do it. It does not cover anything else: the only stuff in there is about how to quit Vim. It has 19 chapters.

Granted, the chapters are not very long. I have broken down each scenario and the correct command to use for each. That means it has nearly as many chapters as it does pages. But who really wants to trawl through 400 pages? When you are stuck in Vim, you want an answer and you want it fast. This book gives you exactly what you need; no fluff.

This is the blurb:

This book does not cover anything except how to exit Vim. It has 19 chapters.

Have you ever found yourself trapped in the command-line text editor Vim? If so, this book could save you from tearing your hair out. It breaks down each situation you may find yourself in, and the correct exit command to get you to safety.

Without it, you may find yourself losing work, overwriting critical data, getting lost in a sea of tabs, or worst of all, looking stupid in front of the stern-looking system administrator standing behind you.

With it, people will think you are a wizard. Finally, a way to unlock the mysteries of quitting Vim without leaving a trail of destruction behind you.

Sounds awesome, right? But it gets better. Because the best part about it is the value: I’ve priced it really low. It’s £2.99. When people give away books for free, they charge $7 shipping. This is half the price of a free book.

Look, I am not saying that if you know all of these Vim commands, more women will have sex for you. Even though, most of us who work in IT suspect that is true. That may not interest you. You may, for example, be a straight woman. In which case, I am not saying that knowing all these commands will get you a job as a Google engineer. But…

Finally, one last point from me. Take a look at the cover:

That is a cover that says “this book is amazing”. Why? Because the cover is so basic. It is called sated strength. Other books, inferior books, come up with hugely flashy covers because they know that is the only way they are going to sell. A cover like this says “wow, this book is good it does not even need a professionally designed cover”.

It is available now from Amazon and iBooks.

The maze is solvable, by the way. Here is a bonus activity: if you take it into Paint, draw the correct route through it, and send it to me within the next week, I will send you a copy of the book completely free.