Hunter Hasting on Entrepreneurship, Imagination, and Austrian Economics

In my latest podcast episode, I talk with Hunter Hastings from the Mises Institute about the role that creativity and imagination play in entrepreneurship.


00:00:00 Hunter Hastings

00:00:30 Hunter Hastings on Twitter

00:02:46 What is an entrepreneur? 

00:08:22 Role of the customer 

00:10:35 Imagination vs. implementation 

00:12:50 E4B website

00:16:40 Education 

00:20:31 Big business becomes bureaucratic 

00:23:01 Cryptocurrency 

00:25:08 Twetch

00:26:55 Austrian economics 

00:29:15 How to think like an entrepreneur 

00:31:44 Don’t complain, create 

00:33:33 Don’t analyze, experiment 

00:35:18 Test the market 

00:38:03 Econ 4 Business Podcast

00:38:32 Hunter Hastings Website


00:39:24 Mises Institute Books Podcast

00:40:01 Austrian Economics a Primer

00:40:36 Economics in One Lesson

00:40:54 Human Action by Ludwig von Mises

00:41:05 Bob Murphy notes on Human Action

Automated Transcript

Today, I’m talking with Hunter Hastings of the Messus Institute. Hunter is the host of the podcast economics for business and he is a venture capitalist and an economic educator. Specifically, he has a lot of knowledge about Austrian Economics and how it relates to Entrepreneurship. Hunter, thanks for taking the time out of your day to come on the call with me.
Well, thank you, Aaron. Thanks for the invitation. It’s great to be here.
Yeah, you know, I’ve I’ve enjoyed listening to your podcast over the past so probably couple years Um and I’m I’m wondering if you can kind of give me an idea about yourself and how you got interested in entrepreneurship.
Well, it’s quite a long journey, Aaron. Uh I got educated in economics at university. I went into the the business world. I worked at Proctor and Gamble and I was marketing detergents, an old-fashioned concept today but it was quite big when I started and then I found that I was able to resell that experience, that knowledge of of marketing as consult Helping other people to or other companies to improve their marketing and grow their brands.
And that became a a career. I’ve I’ve done marketing consulting inside big consulting companies and also established a couple of my own. I had a couple of diversions where my clients would hire me to come and be that chief marketing officer for a while so I get to see the other side again so it’s always good to to see both sides, the corporate side and the entrepreneurial side.
I was very briefly a startup CEO in Silicon Valley in 1999 and 2000 just before the crash and then I I continued with consulting and then to the end of that period, I joined a group of partners in a seed stage venture capital fund. So, that means you see lots and lots of entrepreneurial businesses. You try to form some judgments about which ones to bet on and you get to coach them through the through the growth phases and you get to see what what succeeds and what doesn’t.
So, I had a long career in entrepreneurship. Okay and you mentioned that Started out selling detergents and I think I heard on one podcast I listened with you, you were selling Tide, is that what you were working on? Yes, yes. Okay. Now, I always, I’m wondering if you could kind of define entrepreneurship and what it is because the way I think about it, it’s like, using your creativity and imagination to to do things in a better way and I don’t know if that’s right but that’s how I think about it and I think that you could even be an entrepreneur if you’re working for a company, say, you know, marketing detergents, you can think, you can be creative if your company allows it and think of better ways to do things Can you define for us what entrepreneurship is and how you define it? Yes, that your your explanation is pretty good one, Aaron.
Let me break it down just a little bit more. The purpose of a business, any business is to create value and in Austrian economics, we define value as a feeling.
It’s it’s a feeling and it’s a process. It happens over time. So, the constantly Learning what to want and they constantly learning what’s available. They’re setting standards but they’re always aiming for betterment. They’d always like something to be to be better and so the job of entrepreneurs is to discern that, understand what betterment customers are seeking, how how would they like to improve their lives.
We sometimes call that dissatisfaction. So, you’re measuring a negative. What what are they dissatisfi about and then to create some solution, a product or a service that will relieve that that dissatisfaction and by definition that’s that’s better than anything that’s out there because the customer is dissatisfied with the status quo and they’re they’re more happy with the new product or service. So, entrepreneurship as a function in the economy is this this brilliant translation of customer dissatisfaction into new new products and services and it never stops.
It’s constantly rotating the customers always learning. The entrepreneur is always improving. Um and to your point yes it can happen at any size of business. Entrepreneurship is what produces economic growth and profits and innovation. Uh the issue with big business is that large parts of them are not entrepreneurial. So I worked in the marketing department.
Entrepreneurship was my job. But the HR department and some parts of the finance department and anything to do with compliance is not entrepreneurial. So the smaller the Company typically the more entrepreneurial.
Yeah yeah. Well you mentioned certain things are not entrepreneurial and I I would just you know I I started to think you mentioned compliance. You could think of creative ways to get around certain regulations that might give you a competitive advantage and could that potentially be an entrepreneurial way of doing things.
Yeah we would tend to say not although it might be in some circumstances Aaron but you’re you’re getting around those regulations not to create value for customers but to make things easier for the corporation the original source the original source the regulation was the government government doesn’t produce anything it only it only takes away from production or restricts production and so if you find a nifty way to get around regulation you’re not really creating value for customers you just maybe making things a little bit more efficient for yourself so I wouldn’t count that as as creation all up might well be creative.
Yeah yeah yeah. Well I guess the the only thing that the thing that came to mind was say Uber you know for years Libertarian types tried to lobby the government to get rid of the taxi medallion system but then here Uber comes along and just says the heck with the regulations. We’re going to just have this app on your phone and and you you can get a ride just by tapping a few buttons on the app but Maybe I’m going a little too too deep on that but.
No, no, no, not at all. In fact, I’d like to build on that because it’s a it’s a brilliant example. So, you think of why Uber started and it started exactly because of this dissatisfaction. If you’ve ever tried to get a cab on in Manhattan on a rainy Friday night and you’re standing on the curb. The cabs are going by. There’s no lights on and maybe one comes and you jump out into the rain and you wave your hand and it comes to you and then somebody pushes you out the way and gets in the cab before you or it stops you know half a block you.
It was intense dissatisfaction in in dealing with cabs. So now if you could have something that you booked on your iPhone you confirmed that reservation you got a nifty little map that tells you where the cab is and when it’s going to get there you have created tremendous value for the the cab writer. The regulation part was was separate. Yes there was super creative in in getting around that and had a lot of battles and so on.
That wasn’t part of the value creation. The value creation was all in making a better experience of of getting into a or of of booking a cab and waiting for a cab. So, your choice of Uber as illustration is perfect. Mm hmm.
You know, you you talk a lot about customer dissatisfaction or you mentioned that several times and I’m wondering how that ties in if at all with a quote that I’ve read from Steve Jobs where he says, the customers don’t know what they want until I give it to them. Do you think that’s true? Yeah there there’s this brilliant interchange between the customer and the entrepreneur Aaron and and Jobs got it right so what the customer can do is is be dissatisfied boy things could be better they I just wish it was easier to I know make a phone call or or you know find where I’m going or whatever the kinds of things that iPhones do but they couldn’t invent the iPhone so As I said at the beginning, they’re learning what to want.
They don’t know what to want.
Austrians call that value uncertainty. I wish things were better but I don’t know how to do it and then you have a brilliant entrepreneur who produces something that can solve all those problems and maybe they didn’t do it specifically to cater to that that consumer but they did invent it. It only has any value if they align with the customer. The customer learns that the iPhone can solve their problem and jobs and Apple learn how to fine tune that iPhone so it’s just right and it’s this process of alignment between the customer and and the entrepreneur.
So, we always argue in circles, you know, who creates value? Is it the customer by having the need or is it the entrepreneur by providing the solution and the answer is it’s co-creation of value. It’s both parts of that equation coming together and it’s the alignment getting it just right. Uh that is the the the solution to value creation and in constant change Aaron.
So, the customers always change. Since I’ve got an iPhone, well, how could this be better? Maybe maybe Android is better. Maybe something else is better. Constant constant change. And so it’s that that’s the brilliance of the entrepreneur but you can only do it with the customers. Co creation of value.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s interesting. Yeah. You know I think I like to read biographies about great thinkers and entrepreneurs and one thing that comes across a lot is is the their their courage, their imagination, and determination but I I had professor on the show a while back and he argued that actually it’s not so much about creativity it’s more about implementation and yeah there’s a ton of ideas out there but really it’s all about execution and implementing ideas where where do you see the balance between those those two categories Well, you use the right word and pair is a good friend and he’s he’s brilliant at entrepreneurial theory and I’m not going to disagree with them at all but there is imagination and that’s one of the great powers of the entrepreneur.
It’s creativity. It’s it’s thinking up some new things but as Pear rightly said, that in itself has no value. You’ve gotta make this co-creation of value with the customer. So, you’ve gotta share the idea with the customer. You’ve gotta get their reaction. You’ve then gotta design and implement that that idea. So, another way of thinking about entrepreneurship it’s it’s a design process to get from the idea which is immaterials in your head it’s imagination to implementation and this here is a series of steps to do that you know the the first step is a sketch on the back of a napkin and then the next step is maybe a prototype and then you gotta do the business plan and then you’ve gotta find some manufacturer to manufacture it for you or you’ve gotta find AWS to host it for you you keep making the series of steps until you get it to the point where it can be implemented and every step along the way you’ve checked with the customer saying does this look right? Would this meet your need? Is this something that you would buy? And so I would call that co-creation of value yeah through implementation but it’s it’s you start with imagination.
You go through the design process. You get to the point where you take it to market and you align with the customer. So I’m not sure where that answers your question. I don’t think you can pull out these things that it’s the idea the implementation. It’s it’s a process, an entire end-to-end process.
Yeah and you’ve recently started a new program with along with the Mesas Institute Economics for Business website. Can you tell me more about that? I’ve looked into it a bit but can you tell us more about what’s going on there? Yes, absolutely. So, we think that Austrian Economics has a lot to say to help entrepreneurs and help businesses to be successful to create value and do it profitably and grow And so we developed this economics for business theme to take all of the best knowledge and research out of economics and turn it into useful business processes.
And so we just talked about value creation. So we have a lot of value creation tools on the economics of business website. Like we call it the the value learning journey. So how customers decide whether’s any value in what you’re offering and then they compare it with other things and then they they look at price and then they test it for social value and what will people think when I buy this.
They buy it, they experience it, and then they evaluate it. You can check at every step and see how you’re doing in in value creation. Um we talk about entrepreneurship so we have a number of entrepreneurial processes. The other thing that we talk about is is action Aaron in in Austrian economics is something called the action axiom.
Entrepreneurship Instead of strategy and planning that you’d learn at business school, what you learn at economics. So business is action. You you constantly experimenting and there’s a term for what we call it explore and expand. So don’t build a strategy.
Explore and expand. Do lots and lots of experiments very quickly. Find out what works and what doesn’t and and get better and better that way. So business is a portfolio of experiments not not a strategy. Um we’ve Talked about the the co-generation of value and so we we have a number of tools for that and that the whole thing is what we call the flow. So the market is constantly changing. Customers are constantly changing.
Competitors are constantly changing. So how do you how do you adapt to that. We call it the adaptive entrepreneurial method and we’ve got some materials on that as well. So what we want to offer to entrepreneurs is to come to the economics of business site to get knowledge. So lots of knowledge that you can use. Actual tools. Uh like process tools and checklists and things like that. What you should be doing. And we’re building a community too so that you can come and share your questions or your ideas with other entrepreneurs and benefit from their experience and that’s the other thing Aaron that that is a success factor in entrepreneurship is experience if you’re running all these experiments you’re always learning some work some don’t and you get experience the more experience you have the better you’re going to be a one way to get around that is to borrow experience from other people so that’s one of the that we have at economics of business.
A lot of what we call entrepreneurial journeys. Uh you you talked about reading biographies of entrepreneurs and we have some of those but they’re not the kinds of ones that get you know giant 300 page books written about them there. They’re in the construction industry. They’re in the transportation industry, in the toy industry, they’re in consulting, they’re in plumbing, whatever it might be. We have a number of those entrepreneurial journeys and they’re they’re really great to learn from.
So, knowledge tools and That’s what we’re trying to offer to people at Economics for Business.
Yeah, that’s fantastic. What do you think got you interested in the education part of economics rather than other aspects of it? I I mean maybe you are involved in other aspects of entrepreneurship as well that you could share with us but seems like you’re specifically very interested in the education part. What draws you so much to that? Yeah, I think Aaron that we have a vision.
I have a vision anyway of what I call the entrepreneurial society. So, there’s a lot of us that are very distressed about the political divisions that go on in this country and the the loss of of politeness and decorum and so on. People seem to hate each other and entrepreneurship is is mutual value. What I just talked about was entrepreneurs having empathy for other people.
I want to solve your problem. I want to make your life better and I want to be rewarded for that if you buy what I’m I’m offering an ethic of service and an ethic of of helping others and so if we had an entrepreneurial society then people would be focused on that helping each other and not focused on on politics I call it 100% economics 0% politics that’s that’s the vision and the only way you can change the culture is to educate people in that way so we should be educating people at every level we kind of focus on on what we call the middle class of business the the the core of business in this country people like Doctor Byland are teaching at universities and business schools but we’ve gotta get it into the the high schools and and throughout the country as well so I’m really excited by that that prospect and you see so many young people now who are preferring entrepreneurship to to a corporate job or some other kind of job I love what’s happening in the the Bitcoin and blockchain space we look at health care for example where there’s a big introduction of they call it direct primary care where doctors get out of the big hospital systems and they start their own business with 300 patients who pay 50 bucks a month and that’s that’s enough to get you primary care and and access to specialists and things like that.
So entrepreneurship is happening all over the place. It’s making the world better and I think education will contribute to helping people to get into that mode as opposed to the political mode.
Yeah, that’s fantastic. Yeah, I I like that. Have you have you read anything about what Charles Coke is doing? It sounds like he does some education along with some of these lines and even in his businesses that he runs. He it seems that he takes a very entrepreneurship type approach to all his employees and the programs that he puts on. Have you do you know anything about that? I’ve I’ve read his book The Science of Success I think it’s called.
Yeah. Something like that. There’s a there’s a ton of Austrian economics in that and yeah he is a wonderful approach to to business I think and he you know he runs this company as a portfolio of businesses. He’s not telling them what to do through central planning. He’s giving them kind of directions and a framework and and he really believes in customer sovereignty which is an Austrian concept of you know put the customer at the center and figure out what they want and and get it to them and you’ll do well.
I think he has a lot of educational programs and and yeah and I’d be a fan. I know in Libertarian circles, he’s got some some other kinds of reputation but from an economic standpoint and a business standpoint, I think he’s a great source of knowledge.
Okay. Yeah, I I wondered that when I was reading his book is why do you think it is that businesses as they grow bigger, they become more and more like bureaucracies.
Well because they are bureaucracies that’s that’s the problem. They as they get big three things happen. One is they start to get defensive. So you talk about market share. Market share is a defensive concept. I’ve gotta hold on to that. And you know they’ve got a report to the financial sector every quarter if they’re publicly traded. That’s a defensive idea. You’ve you know you can’t you can’t do worse you gotta protect what you’ve got.
So they start to get defensive. Um then the second thing is they start to get too big to to manage. So then you get the A job bureaucracy and you get the compliance bureaucracy and and so on and then the the third thing is they they misunderstand competition and you know in Austrian economics we tell our entrepreneurs don’t don’t even think about competition it’s not a concept to worry about what you’re trying to be is unique you know one of the books I really like is Peter Fields zero to one and he said every business should be a monopoly you should be so differentiated your your brand should be so loved that nobody can compete with it and so don’t even think about competition think about serving customers uniquely so as as companies get big they they lose that but there’s some interesting things going on in the corporate world in terms of decentralization.
There’s a a company that a lot of people study called Hiya H A I E R. It’s a Chinese company but they’ve devolved into tiny entrepreneurial units. Typically, you know, 25 or 50 employees. Every business there is an entrepreneurial business. Now, some of them are in support functions and like IT and that kind of thing and and some of them are are direct to customer but they’re all Aiming for entrepreneurial profit and aiming to be as efficient as possible and you know not have the the bureaucracy that we’ve talked about.
So interestingly in the in the world companies are trying to figure out how to have more entrepreneurship and less bureaucracy and and less overhead and that’s a that’s a good a good development.
Yeah yeah. You had mentioned Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. What what kind of you said that that’s something that excites you. I’m also interested in that area. What kind of developments have you seen that are interesting to you? Well just in general Aaron I’m not a an expert I own I own some Bitcoin I’m happy to say but it’s a it’s an entrepreneurial alternative to fiat currency in the banking system and now people are starting to build businesses on the blockchain and I learned an expression from a young man in Germany that I talked to on my podcast his name is Max Hillibrand and he taught me about this value for value exchange there’s a world of free software development so young people are writing code developing software maybe for themselves and then they say hey somebody else may have a use for this so they’ll put it out for for offer for sale on on the blockchain but it’s free it’s hate you can take this and use it if you think it has any value send me some some Bitcoin or more likely some Satoshis right they call it stacking saps and So, you learn what the customer values because if they pay you, they obviously valued it and this is constant exchange of getting better and better all the time.
So, that kind of value for value exchange business that that happens on the blockchain is just really really exciting and you know, the whole development of of independent exchange that you know, is not regulated, a less regulator, it’s not surveilled, it’s it’s pseudonymous and And so on. I mean I think that’s the future. I just think that that entrepreneurs who are working in that field represent the the future of independent entrepreneurship.
So I’m cheering along. I don’t know much about it but I’m cheering. Yeah yeah. I I think one of the exciting apps that I’ve seen is app called Twetch T W E T C H and I it’s a social network that’s built on the Bitcoin blockchain and when you log in you can when you like something it costs five cents. When you post something that cost two cents I think retweeting or sharing is is like another three cents but it’s really interesting and you you can you can pay people just by commenting on their posts you can say pay so and so a few dollars it’s it’s it’s an interesting business model I think because it’s you’re making profit right from the get go your your first user is paying a few cents just to post and and you also get rid of a lot a lot of the trolls and things like that that you see on Twitter yeah check that out.
I I’ll send you I’ll put a link in the show notes to this. So if anyone wants to join and connect with me on Twitch you can use that link. Yeah I know there’s quite a lot of podcasts that do something like that with you know BTC Paceover and and those kinds of things. So yeah I think that’s great. That’s you know that’s the the the customer’s choice if they choose to pay then then deciding where they go on a social network as opposed to being directed by the Facebook algorithm which is trying to figure out how to direct you to places where Facebook wants you to be.
I think that’s a good example of of customer choice and a free market so I hope it works out. Yeah yeah oh I should mention you know that I I mentioned you’re paying for these likes and posts but if you’re posting good content and you’re getting a lot of likes you you’re also making money so I you know it’s pretty interesting but it’s a market.
Yeah I So what what would you say is the central theme that differentiates Austrian economics from any other school of economics? Well there’s a there’s a lot of components really but the two that are most important I think from an economic standpoint are what the academics called methodolic methodological individualism and what that means is it’s economics about people so the the economics that you learn in school and you read about in the Wall Street Journal it’s all about big aggregated numbers GDP and the money supply and the the employment levels and so on like that and they think that you can get big aggregates to work on other big aggregates. So if you increase the money supply you’ll raise employment so on like that.
Austrian economics is is not those big aggregates. We believe that it’s about people. It’s about individuals about how individuals make make choices and how they interact with each other and and how they create value. So methodological individual and there’s one piece and then it’s a it’s a what we’d call a free market approach. If those individuals left to their own devices to create mutually acceptable exchanges then you’ll grow the economy and everybody’s everybody will achieve betterment and it’s this positive way of of developing value and the Austrian view of value as I mentioned at the beginning is subjective.
It’s about how will make the choices. People decide what to do. People have preferences and so this this whole of people working together teams and in communities and so on like that to create value. That’s what Austrian economics is all about. Um the other kind of economics is is I call it government economics. It was developed to to give governments the opportunity to and regulate and and control the currency and those kinds of things. So they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Yeah, what have you have you come across ways of helping people who are interested or going through the program at economics for business to think more creatively or to become better entrepreneurs? Um are there tips or tool, not really tools, but are there ways of thinking in in just your daily life that you’ve come across that are helpful? Well, our our motto is think better, think Austrian and that’s you know, it’s kind of a a general theme. We are trying to to help people think better.
It’s a a perspicacious question from an entrepreneurial standpoint.
It’s it’s working backwards. So, you you’re taught about business as it’s a it’s a production. It moves forwards, right? You, as you said, you have the idea then you develop it and then you sell it and then you you take it to market.
But if you think like like we do, you work backwards. So, you start with the customer, you start by identifying that that dissatisfaction. That dissatisfaction is an experience. So, what would an experience look like that was better than that and then you work backwards from that experience. How can I assemble that? How can I put that together and we talk about value networks that you don’t have to do it all yourself.
You can you can assemble a value network but you work it backwards and then in design process, you gotta turn that around and assemble what you just created from from working backwards but you’re always working backwards from the customer. So, any feedback you get from a customer, bring it backwards and and and process it. So, I think thinking backwards and the other piece is thinking in systems because the customer is a system.
The household is a system. When I was selling Tide to mom, right? Mom was a system. She she had a House to run. She had two kids to get to school. She had to do her washing and ironing back in the day and and that kind of thing. So how do I fit into that system? And you know part of it is convenience. Part of it is price.
Part of it is efficacy. Part of it is having the the the attributes that she was looking for. But you you humbly fit into the system. So you know working backwards from the system and figuring out how you can fit into it. That’s that’s another way. But thinking backwards is a good touristic to use. Yeah Yeah, I think, I mean, one of the things you said is, is being dissatisfied can, can help you come up with entrepreneurial ideas because if you’re looking to satisfy or get rid of that feeling of dissatisfaction, you know, you may, I mean, some people just complain and and don’t do anything but you know, I guess that’s one of the lessons I try to teach my kids is, hey, don’t just complain.
Well, you don’t like dinner. You can make dinner. Why don’t you make something better? You know, I think, I think that’s something we can practice in our daily life is at least for me I try to if I’m about to complain I I always try to say to myself okay I’m complaining but what what could I do differently yeah you’re right so don’t complain create I I concur with that 100% but if you if you think about it the genius of the customer is to be dissatisfied you look at everything we’ve got today and we’re still dissatisfied which is wonderful because that creates opportunity for the the entrepreneur And the quote we like to use like Steve Jobs saying you know I’ve gotta I’ve gotta show them what to want is Henry Ford who said if I’d asked them what they want they they would have said fast to horses.
And right. They were dissatisfied with the with the horse and buggy world. But they didn’t they couldn’t invent cars. But this this idea of dissatisfaction. It’s such a gift to the entrepreneur. It’s it’s this genius gift of the customer to say make my life better. Hey I’m inviting you in. Help me out here. And it’s it’s the energy that drives innovation and and and creativity.
So, I I just love the idea of dissatisfaction. It’s it’s it’s human brilliance at its best.
Yeah. Yeah. Is there as a person that’s thinking through ideas, you know, sometimes you can get you can get caught up in the the point where you’re just dismissing ideas right off the bat.
How do you find a balance between say coming up with an idea that you think might be good and not being too analytical about it but as you say just is the is the answer to just go out and experiment? Absolutely. Don’t analyze.
Experiment. So if if that idea can be an experiment. If it can be an AB test. If it can be a piece of market research. If it can be a conversation with your next door neighbor saying what do you think of this? You get feedback and and the more feedback that you get the the more accurate and more developed your your concept your idea gets. So never analyze.
Always experiment. If it’s an idea that you can experiment with run the experiment. What you owe to yourself a to run as many experiments as you can or big portfolio of experiments and eventually something will emerge which you can focus on you can narrow the uncertainty you can make the bet you can you can develop the resources so it’s action action action don’t think don’t analyze act that’s that’s the whole principle yeah yeah you you did mention you know talk to your neighbor about it one one thing I found difficult about that approach is sometimes people will be trying to be too nice and they’ll say oh yeah that’s a great idea and other other times people will be just very dismissive like I think Steve Wozniak went to his employer to talk about the personal computer and they were like oh noone would ever want that but are do you have you talk about experimentation are there ways to just experiment that you that you know of where you can test the market and instead of asking people what do you think you can say would you mind put some money on that you know are there are there small ways that you can kind of test the market without going full boring and creating a full business that that you’ve come across yeah it depends the stage that you’re at Aaron but don’t tell a about a product like a personal computer.
Tell them about an experience. You know, what if you had a little machine that you could you could type better on because typewriters are so clunky or you can get on the internet and retrieve knowledge and it sits there right in your desk and you can use it anytime. Don’t ask them for the exchange value, would you pay for it? Ask them about the experience value.
Could you imagine? So, we talked about imagination. Could you imagine yourself in that in that situation Would you enjoy that experience do you think? So design an experience for them and then ask them if that’s an experience that they would like. And that’s that’s the way to get the the feedback as opposed to saying I’ve invented the personal computer. Well you give me 1000 bucks for it.
That that that’s not going to work. Cuz they don’t know what a they don’t know what a personal computer is. But you know Steve Jobs put that iPhone in people’s hands because he understood the frustration that they had. And one of the big things with that was the keyboard. So the Blackberry was in existence every he loved our blackberries and the one little thing they said was the keyboards clunky you know I my thumbs keep banging into each other and that’s that’s a problem so Jobs was trying to figure this out and he he had his own Pecadillo about buttons you know he didn’t like buttons so that’s where the touchscreen dial pad came from so the consumer couldn’t invent the dial pad but they could say I don’t like the buttons and Jobs could say or what if there was an experience that didn’t involve buttons and it was easier to do.
I don’t know what his research was. He he famously SQ research so maybe didn’t do any but it’s the experience. The experience of your thumbs not banging into each other when you’re trying to type on a on a blackberry keyboard. So, if you can improve the experience, design the improved experience, you can ask people about that and you can demo it to them and and so on.
Yeah, yeah.
Well, Hunter, I I really appreciate your time today. I I feel like I’ve gotten a lot out of the conversation. Um is there anything else that you’d like to mention before we end the call? No, I just appreciate the invitation. It’s been great spending time with you. Our our URL is economics. It’s ECON 4, the number four So, please go there and and search around. Everything’s free except we got one course on there that I think one of our professors is charging money for but everything else is free and and tell us what you like and what you don’t like, your dissatisfaction in in the feedback.
I write occasionally at Hunter and I post a of all podcasts there so if you want to go to Hunter please do and same thing please communicate and of course the measles institute at Meases M I S E S dot ORG are a whole idea of is a free library all of the books on Austrian Economics all the columns that our professors read a whole bunch of videos and courses and research papers and untold amounts of of content in Austrian economics and it’s all free and you can buy some hard-backed books if you want to take em home with you but everything’s in PDF format.
Everything’s downloadable. There’s new stuff every day. So, those are three places you can go to.
Yeah and and if you’re a podcast listener, the Mesas Institute has a podcast and they’ve got a ton of free books on there that are very interesting that I’ve been delving through over the past few years.
Yup, there’s a lifetime Aaron, you can spend your lifetime there.
Is, do you have one book, one or two recommendations related to Austrian economics that you’d recommend for a beginner? Well, it’s hard to say beginner that there’s Peb Island actually is is writing a an introduction to Austrian Economics. I think he’s calling it a Prima, P R I M E R but it’s not quite ready yet. Um there are couple of books on the You can search for an introduction and you’ll find a a couple of useful texts there.
Um one that I like is is called Austrian Economics A Prima and it’s not the measles institute it’s from the Adam Smith Institute in the UK by Eamonn Butler and that’s a great introduction to Austrian Economics so Austrian Economics A Primmer by Eamonn Butler and Another one that that people like a lot which is a free book from the Measure Institute is is Henry Haslett’s economics in one lesson. Um and that’s exactly you know what it says in the title.
An easy way to learn Austrian economics. But ultimately you’ve gotta read human action which is Ludwig Van Misa’s Great Treatus. It’s it’s a hard read. It’s a fabulously rewarding read. Um Bob Murphy, Robert Murphy has has written a kind of what do you call it? The scholars notes kind of book around it called Choice but eventually sit down and read human action even if it takes you 10 years. It’ll it’ll pay you back.
Excellent. Thank you for those recommendations and thanks again for coming on the show today.
Aaron, thank you very much. I appreciate it and I hope to see people’s comments on some of our sites. Thank you.

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