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Ep. 72: The Value Of Offense | with Simone & Malcolm Collins

the daily helping podcast Oct 14, 2018

A viral marriage proposal on Reddit, multiple successful companies, and international travel – and that’s only the beginning.

Originally a neuroscientist focused on brain-computer interface and the evolution of human cognition, whose work is on display at the Smithsonian, Malcolm Collins earned an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. There he met Simone, his wife and co-author, who at the time was director of Marketing at, managing a team of 20,000 freelancers.

Together they co-founded the art commission marketplace, after which Malcolm became Director of Strategy at South Korea’s most desired source of early-stage capital, Simone earned her graduate degree from Cambridge while working in venture capital. The couple now runs a number of travel companies (with a focus on Travelmax), splitting their time between North American headquarters in Miami, FL and South American offices in Lima, Peru.

In their new book, The Pragmatist’s Guide to Life, Malcolm and Simone Collins encourage the use of applied pragmatic thought–a framework for systematically constructing your own beliefs about the world, leveraging those beliefs to decide who you want to be as a person, and creating the person you want to be.


“Be open-minded. Actively look for signs that you may be wrong.”


Simone’s and Malcolm’s Steps For Self Improvement:

  • 1) Form a game-plan. Choose the thing you want to maximize in your life. Decide what matters to you.
  • 2) Develop our internal character. What sort of internal character would best execute this game plan, to maximize the thing you think matters most?
  • 3) Develop your public figure. Remain open to the discomfort of feeling offended. Grow yourself out of this stage, and this costume, and away from the cast of characters that remind you of who you are now, so that you have the freedom to redesign yourself.


The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway


The emotion of offense is a red flag that you need to pay attention to that and you need to delve into that with a genuinely open mind; they may be correct in this thing that is offending you, or there may be elements of their worldview that can positively augment your own. I think it’s a really important message in our world today, where on college campuses it has become very common to say “this could be offensive to someone, so you’re not allowed to say it. You’re not allowed to share this information.” In reality, if something is offensive that means it needs to be shared a thousand times more than any other piece of information because it means that it’s challenging the way somebody sees the world.

To add to that, if you are proven wrong about something, and you change your mind, it’s not a bad thing. You’re not a flip-flopper, you’re not weak-willed. You’re now a better person because you have better information. You’re stronger. And you’re flexible enough to improve, whereas other people just are broken and they can’t. So – get offended, get excited about being offended, and if it turns out you’ve been wrong for years, well that’s fantastic, because now you have better information and you won’t make the same mistakes!


Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.



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