The Smarter Screen Book Summary - The Smarter Screen Book explained in key points
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The Smarter Screen summary

Shlomo Benartzi

What Your Business Can Learn from the Way Consumers Think Online

4.1 (16 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

The Smarter Screen by Shlomo Benartzi is a book that explores how technology is changing our behavior and how we can use it to make better decisions.
With psychological insights and real-world examples, it offers actionable advice for individuals and corporations alike.

Table of Contents

    The Smarter Screen
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    As the internet offers far more information than people can take in, companies need to fight for attention.

    Say you’re looking to book a hotel room in London. You search Google for accommodations, and are immediately given 500 million options. Obviously there’s no way you could consider each one –  but such is the peril of information overload in the twenty-first century.

    The prominence of computers and the internet have prompted an exponential rise in the quantity of available information. In fact, scientists at IBM have estimated that the data created over just the last two years makes up 90 percent of all the information currently in existence!

    In the 1950s, for instance, people could choose among two or three TV channels. But today you can access just about every program ever made, and whenever you want, through cloud services.

    Yet the amount of information that people actually pay attention to is limited by the cognitive capacity of the brain. For instance, research has suggested that a person’s short-term memory is only capable of storing about four pieces of information at a time.

    So whenever the information presented exceeds your brain’s capacity, you start missing out. For example, studies have found that having a phone conversation while driving causes you to stop noticing some 50 percent of your surroundings – red lights and pedestrians included.

    Considering this, it’s easy to see how the abundance of online information inevitably leads to the waning attention of users. In short, people surfing the internet face difficult choices every second about what to notice and think about.

    But there’s actually a great opportunity for companies to take advantage of the gap between the information that’s presented and the information that people notice. For instance, sites such as or that offer a simple information platform online are able to charge hotel owners a commission as high as 30 percent. We’ll learn why they can do this in the next blink.

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    What is The Smarter Screen about?

    The Smarter Screen (2015) is a guide both for the start-up and established business to boosting your company’s digital presence in a media-saturated world. These blinks apply insights from behavioral economics to explain exactly how people think and respond to digital information on a screen.

    The Smarter Screen Review

    The Smarter Screen (2015) by Shlomo Benartzi is a thought-provoking exploration of how technology shapes our behavior and decision-making. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers insightful analysis on how screens influence our thoughts, behaviors, and consumer choices, helping us navigate the digital world more wisely.
    • Provides practical strategies to improve our relationship with technology, empowering readers to make conscious decisions and avoid pitfalls in the digital age.
    • With its well-researched examples and data-driven approach, the book presents complex concepts in an accessible way, ensuring an engaging and enlightening read.

    Who should read The Smarter Screen?

    • Anyone that produces or manages digital content
    • Website designers and marketing managers
    • People curious about what drives consumer choice

    About the Author

    Behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi is a professor and co-chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at the University of California, Los Angeles’s Anderson School of Management. He also holds a doctorate from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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    The Smarter Screen FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Smarter Screen?

    The main message of The Smarter Screen is how screens and technology affect our decision-making and behavior.

    How long does it take to read The Smarter Screen?

    The reading time for The Smarter Screen varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is The Smarter Screen a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Smarter Screen is worth reading for its insightful analysis of how screens shape our lives and influence our choices.

    Who is the author of The Smarter Screen?

    The author of The Smarter Screen is Shlomo Benartzi.

    What to read after The Smarter Screen?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Smarter Screen, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg
    • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
    • AI 2041 by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
    • How to Tell a Story by The Moth
    • Switch by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
    • Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
    • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki