The Best of Rory Sutherland

The Best of Rory Sutherland

Solving problems using rationality is like playing golf with only one club.
— Rory Sutherland

Is it possible to have too much of Rory Sutherland? We don’t think so, and we don’t believe you do either.

His insights into human behaviour and ability to think counterintuitive are unparalled.

For the record, the man is as charming and delightful in real life as you’d expect.

To help you fill your boots with his wit and wisdom, we’ve compiled a list of his best bits below:

TED Talks

  1. Life Lessons From An Ad Man

  2. Sweat The Small Stuff

  3. Perspective Is Everything

  4. The Lost Genius of Irrationality

  5. The Next Revolution Will Be Psychological, Not Technological

  6. What Is Value?

  7. The New Sweet Spot And How To Find It

  8. Charitable Yield Management

  9. A Few Lessons Governments Could Learn From Marketers

Nudgestock Talks

  1. Nudgestock 2014 - Dare To Be Trivial

  2. Nudgestock 2015 - Rory’s Opening Speech

  3. Nudgestock 2016 - Rory’s Opening Speech

  4. Nudgestock 2017 - Innervation

  5. Nudgestock 2018 - Rory’s Opening Speech

  6. Nudgestock 2019 - Rory’s Opening Speech

  7. Nudgestock 2020 - It’s Behavioural Science, But I Like It

  8. Nudgestock 2021 - Is Everything BS?

  9. Nudgestock 2022 - Billion Dollar Behaviours

  10. Nudgestock 2023 - It's Time To Embrace The Mess


  1. The Psychology of Advertising - The Knowledge Project Podcast

  2. Unseen Opportunities with Rory Sutherland - O Behave Podcast

  3. Marketing Week Meets: Rory Sutherland - Marketing Week Podcast

  4. Rory Sutherland in conversation - The IPA Podcast

  5. Advertising with Rory Sutherland - Virgin Media Business VOOM Podcast

  6. The Psychology Of Irrationality - Modern Wisdom Podcast

  7. The Psychology of Transport - Modern Wisdom Podcast

  8. 19 Of Human Behaviour's Weirdest Quirks - Modern Wisdom Podcast

  9. The Marketing Secrets Apple & Tesla Always Use: Rory Sutherland - Diary of a CEO Podcast

  10. How To Influence People: Marketing Secrets Behind The World’s Biggest Brands - Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal

  11. Simplifying Complexity, in conversation with Rory Sutherland - Part 1 - Sean Brady and Brady Heywood


  1. The Wiki Man by Rory Sutherland

  2. Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense by Rory Sutherland

  3. dot: Rory Sutherland: Thinking like a marketing genius by Mike Dariano

  4. Transport for Humans: Are We Nearly There Yet? by Pete Dyson & Rory Sutherland


1. “Engineers, medical people, scientific people, have an obsession with solving the problems of reality, when actually...once you reach a basic level of wealth in society, most problems are actually problems of perception.”

2. “The human mind does not run on logic any more than a horse runs on petrol.”

3. “Effective communication will always require some degree of irrationality in its creation because if it’s perfectly rational it becomes like water, entirely lacking in flavour.”

4. “A flower is a weed with an advertising budget.”

5. “Henry Ford’s reaction to a consultant who questioned why he paid $50,000 a year to someone who spent most of his time with his feet on his desk. “Because a few years ago that man came up with something that saved me $2,000,000,” he replied. “And when he had that idea his feet were exactly where they are now.”

6. “It is much easier to be fired for being illogical than it is for being unimaginative. The fatal issue is that logic always gets you to exactly the same place as your competitors.”

7. "The price of things is not an absolute. We don't have an internal measure of pleasure against which we measure our expenditure - it's completely relative."

8. “Genuinely, Red Bull makes no rational sense whatsoever. Nobody likes the taste very much. When you research it, people hate the taste. It costs a lot of money. It comes in a tiny can.”

9. “You can either work out what people want and find a really clever way to make it, or you can work out what you can make and find a really clever way to make people want it.”

10. “Some of the most valuable discoveries don’t make sense at first. If they did, someone would have discovered them already.”

11. “Sometimes you just want to stand in the corner and stare out of the window. The problem is, when you’re not smoking and staring out the window, you're an anti-social, friendless idiot.If you stand and stare out of the window with a cigarette, you're a fucking philosopher. The power of reframing things cannot be overstated.”

If you enjoyed the above, we’ve also got a post on 42 of Rory Sutherland’s Best Quotes.

Are we missing anything? What other great Rory resources are out there?

If you’ve exhausted the above resources and are still hungry for more, try our courses on Behavioural Economics and Applied Behavioural Science made with the great man himself.

We’re all born creative

We’re all born creative

We sent a man to the moon before we put wheels on a suitcase

We sent a man to the moon before we put wheels on a suitcase