Summary of Rock Breaks Scissors

A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody

Little, Brown, more...

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Rock Breaks Scissors book summary
Learn the unconscious patterns that influence people’s choices.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Being a mind reader gives you a competitive advantage: You can anticipate your competitors’ strategic moves or predict consumer desires. To gain this advantage, improve your skill at predicting people’s random behavior. Author William Poundstone teaches that while people strive to be spontaneous, they actually base their choices on unconscious patterns. Learn these patterns and you can uncover their game plans. Poundstone shows how to detect patterns in a wide range of settings, including sports, games and investing. He offers fascinating and potentially useful insights into the human bias toward order. Unfortunately, Poundstone provides too little guidance for applying these techniques in business settings. For example, he lacks a chapter on how these tactics can affect negotiation. Nevertheless, getAbstract believes his observations on human psychology make his insights and tactics valuable to salespeople, marketers, strategists and investors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why human behavior is so predictable
  • How to profit by predicting your competitors’ strategic choices
  • How to make your choices less predictable


The Power of Prediction
Whether you’re squaring off in a tennis match, playing poker or picking stocks, effective players guess what their opponents are going to do. In that way, prediction is a foundational skill in competition. However, you don’t need to be a mind reader to make accurate...
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About the Author

William Poundstone’s 14 books include Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? and How Would You Move Mount Fuji? He has written for The New York Times, Harper’s and the Harvard Business Review.

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    Tommy Thibault 11 months ago
    Did it help me to profit by predicting your competitors’ strategic choices ? After the reading, I still don't understand how to predict ...
    • Avatar
      Guy Gore 11 months ago
      Strangely, I predicted that you would ask that question...

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