Get extra book content and a very special Pre-Order offer—coming soon.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires
As an undergraduate studying philosophy at Stanford, Peter Thiel met French polymath René Girard and was introduced to his theory of “mimetic desire”—the idea that most human wanting comes from imitating the desires of others. Each of us is surrounded by people who generate, shape, and manipulate our desires at every turn.
The consequences of mimetic desire are startling. Because people learn to want what other people want, they are easily drawn into rivalries and conflict. But mimetic desire does not have to be in control. We are free to choose. And those who understand mimetic desire have a tremendous advantage over those who don’t—they can use it for good or for ill.
Drawing on his experience as an entrepreneur and teacher with a background in classical philosophy, Luke Burgis shows how to counteract the mimetic forces of the market by turning blind wanting into intentional wanting—not by trying to rid ourselves of desire, but by desiring differently.Burgis shows how to achieve more independence from trends and bubbles, how to feel more in control of the things we want, and ultimately how to find more meaning in our work and life by grounding them in desires that will never fade away.
“A spellbinding read. It will leave you rethinking your own motivations for months and maybe even years later.”
Adam Grant, New York Bestselling author of ORIGINALS and THINK AGAIN
The hidden forces that shape our world.
Business is not driven by profit or performance or any amount of social do-gooding. Business is driven by desire. It’s possible to counteract the mimetic forces of the market by turning blind wanting into intentional wanting—not by ridding ourselves of desire, but by desiring something greater.
Luke has co-created and led four companies in wellness, consumer products, and technology. He’s currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Director of Programs at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship where he also teaches business at The Catholic University of America. Luke has helped form and serves on the board of several new K-12 education initiatives and writes and speaks regularly about the education of desire. He studied business at NYU Stern and philosophy and theology at a pontifical university in Rome. He’s Managing Partner of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator that he started to build, train, and invest in people and companies that contribute to a healthy human ecology. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Claire.
Who It's For
Stephen Hanselman, New York Times bestselling co-author of LIVES OF THE STOICS and THE DAILY STOIC
Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of THINK AGAIN and ORIGINALS, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
Andrew N. Meltzoff
Co-Director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Science at the University of Washington
Tyler Cowen, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Stagnation
Douglas Rushkoff, New York Times bestselling author of TEAM HUMAN
Arthur C. Brooks, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School
Julie Wainwright, Founder & CEO of The RealReal
Author of Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard
Jimmy Soni, Co-author of the award-winning A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age