#347 Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy with Tim Harford

The question of when it's time to retire can really only be answered by one person...YOU! Only you really, truly know if it's time to call it quits.  For our first caller this week, Leslie from Atlanta, that time has come.  After working a physical job for many, many years, Leslie is done and has decided to retire in early 2018.  She has done a good job of saving and getting all her ducks in a row but still felt the need to give us a call and run her game play by us.  She just needed a little reassurance, which we were happy to provide. 

How many of you rode an elevator this week? Or Googled something? Or use index funds in your financial lives?

I’m going to guess all of you did at least one of those things. I’m also going to guess that you probably didn’t realize that those three things are among the 50 inventions that shaped the modern economy.

That’s according to the list compiled by BBC and Financial Times journalist Tim Harford, our guest this week in hour two and author of the new book, Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy.

The book paints a picture of change by telling fascinating and compelling stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for the global economy. From the plough to air conditioning, from Gillette’s disposable razor to IKEA’s Billy bookcase, Tim is able to recount each invention’s own curious, surprising, and memorable journey.

We also touched on Tim’s previous book, Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, which is now out in paperback. As someone who could be described as a bit compulsive, especially when it comes to my email inbox, I loved this book because it celebrates the benefits of messiness in our lives: why it’s important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it.

Little did I know that a bit of mess lies at the core of how we innovate, how we achieve, how we reach each other – in short, how we succeed.

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"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.