🔥 Seeking Clarity No.6

The Power of Names, Product Thinking, and Admitting Ignorance 6.21.21

Hello friends! Welcome to Seeking Clarity. My name is Sean Cheng and I’m a student at Swarthmore College. Each month, I bring you a thoroughly researched essay on an interesting topic along with insightful reads from around the Internet. Let’s seek clarity together.

All my past essays can be found here.

Follow me on Twitter @seancheng_ where I curate more lessons on mental models and startups from leading entrepreneurs, VCs, and writers.



✅ What’s Inside:

  1. Monthly Essay - The Power of Names: How your name shapes your life

  2. What I’ve Been Reading - The Power of Product Thinking

  3. Twitter Find of The Month - Admitting Ignorance


📝 The Power of Names

A few months ago, a sushi restaurant in Taiwan ran a promotion offering free all-you-can-eat sushi to certain customers.

The twist?

You had to change your name to the Chinese characters for salmon to be eligible for the deal.

Hundreds of hungry customers swarmed to take advantage of this offer because, in Taiwan, changing your name isn't difficult. For $3 USD you can have a completely new name within a day.

In traditional Taiwanese culture, people believed their name is tied closely to their luck and success in life. This is partly why the process to swap out your current name for a new one is so streamlined. It's not uncommon for someone to change their name if they keep getting poor grades or if their business fails. There are even personality tests and counselors who provide advice on what name is the best fit for you.

Especially to Westerners, this all sounds a bit silly. But after going down a rabbit hole of studies on how our names affect us, I've distilled three interesting insights on how our names affect how we're perceived, the perceived validity of statements attached to our names, and even our facial structure.

Read the rest


📚 What I’ve Been Reading


🐦 Twitter Find of The Month


🙏 Thank You

If you enjoyed Seeking Clarity, it would mean the world to me if you shared it with a friend or two.

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Feel free to also send me your thoughts on my writing or any interesting reads you’ve come across as well! You can reach me by replying to this email or by DMing me on Twitter. I read every single message I receive.

Wishing you the best,

Sean