Mine! Book Summary - Mine! Book explained in key points
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Mine! summary

Michael A. Heller and James Salzman

How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives

3.9 (46 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

Mine! by Michael A. Heller and James Salzman is an examination of the legal and social concept of ownership. It offers insights into how a better understanding of ownership can lead to more efficient use of shared resources.

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    Ownership design is an engineering tool that influences our behavior.

    Have you ever been stuck in traffic and glanced longingly at all the empty space in the high-occupancy lane, wishing you had a car pool?

    Or how about this: did you ever get stuck in a busy airport, thinking that next time you should really buy into that frequent-flier program which offers easy boarding and other perks?

    If either of these rings true, you’ve been directly affected by a social engineering tool called ownership design. Its job is to influence your behavior, without you even noticing. Businesses and governments use it all the time, especially when they need to define rules around scarce resources.

    When it comes to ownership, there’s always a choice – you’re either choosing for yourself, or someone else is choosing for you.

    The key message here is: Ownership design is an engineering tool that influences our behavior.

    If you’ve ever borrowed a friend’s HBO password, you’re not alone. But streaming media from another person’s account is piracy. In theory, it could land you in prison. HBO is aware of unauthorized streamers. It could easily sue users – and discourage piracy. So why doesn't it?

    The answer isn’t because HBO doesn’t have time to prosecute all pirates. No, the company is making a strategic choice. By letting users get away with password sharing, HBO hopes that illegal streamers will get hooked on the network’s content. And somewhere down the line, when these users begin to earn enough money, they’ll buy a subscription of their own.

    HBO is designing ownership in a manner that is deceptively simple, yet – the company hopes – effective. But this social engineering tool can also be used in a much more complicated manner.

    An example is the so-called Duke Campout. Each September, graduate students of Duke University pitch sleeping bags and park RVs outside the local basketball stadium. They stay an entire weekend, and those who last until Sunday morning enter into a lottery. The prize is men's basketball season tickets. And not just any tickets: winners get to sit courtside, right at the heart of the action.

    Many students remember Campout as one of their best memories at Duke. And this increases their likelihood of donating to the university.

    Most importantly, those who win the Campout lottery are die-hard fans who “bleed blue,” painting their faces in Duke’s colors and chanting school slogans. As a result, the university’s brand gets a boost as the games are televised across the country.

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    What is Mine! about?

    Mine! (2021) explores the hidden rules of ownership that govern our world and influence our behavior. From who rides first at Disney World to who owns the space behind your seat on an airplane, it reveals the secrets of who gets what and why.

    Mine! Review

    Mine! (2021) by Michael A. Heller and James Salzman is a thought-provoking exploration of the concept of ownership and the implications it has in our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through compelling stories and fascinating case studies, the book sheds light on the complex nature of ownership, making it a captivating read from start to finish.
    • It provides insightful analysis into the economic, legal, and cultural aspects of ownership, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of this fundamental concept.
    • With its intellectual depth and well-researched content, Mine! manages to make a potentially dry topic fascinating and definitely not boring.

    Best quote from Mine!

    Ownership is always up for grabs.

    —Michael A. Heller and James Salzman
    example alt text

    Who should read Mine!?

    • Fans of Freakonomics or Nudge
    • Law students
    • Pop culture enthusiasts

    About the Author

    Michael A. Heller and James Salzman are two of the world’s leading ownership experts. Heller is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School. He’s also the author of The Gridlock Economy. James Salzman is the Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Law and the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. He’s also the author of Drinking Water.

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    Mine! FAQs 

    What is the main message of Mine!?

    The main message of Mine! is to understand the concept of ownership and how it impacts our society.

    How long does it take to read Mine!?

    Reading time for Mine! varies. The Blinkist summary can be read in a few minutes.

    Is Mine! a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Mine! is a thought-provoking read that challenges our understanding of ownership and its implications. Definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of Mine!?

    The authors of Mine! are Michael A. Heller and James Salzman.

    What to read after Mine!?

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