Nov 5, 2008
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.