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Hey there! I’m a white female living in Portland, Oregon by way of NYC (mostly) and a bunch of other places. My first book, Can You Learn to Be Lucky?, was a Fast Company best book of 2018. I wrote my second one, Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers, with Chip Heath.1

The self-help industrial complex is bullshit

Data is not divine. All data points are subjective, lagging measures of what imperfect humans once measured imperfectly. But we workshop them because of their promise of objectivity, of feeling like we know something for certain in a chaotic world, and the love of feeling like we’re right.

Psychology is not a valid science. Psychology was once my North Star to understand humans—until I got a glimpse into the whole enterprise. Researchers (biased, as are all humans), academia, the publishing landscape, the file drawer problem, the replication crisis… real life is far too complex for the scientific method is simple. Lab results do not accurately represent real world experience. These are cultural products, and by demystifying the process, we can get a glimpse of the machine at work and recognize it for what it is.

My expertise lies at this interplay of quantitative and qualitative data: what is measured and reported, and what actually happens. The Starr Report aims to offer real advice for people who want to write, create, or otherwise accomplish their goals while having a life, and I’m open about things that brand managers would prefer I not share, like my mental health, anxieties, and frustrations.

In other words, I’m trying to acknowledge the B.S. in culture while also being mindful of the fact that your feed doesn’t need any more negativity.


Feel free to say hello at


(Heath is the New York Times bestselling author of Switch and Made to Stick; I am an elder millennial with student loan debt.)

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Soft Skills for the Apocalypse: How to Be a Human in a Post-Truth World


Author, MAKING NUMBERS COUNT (w/ Chip Heath) & CAN YOU LEARN TO BE LUCKY? Just a single 🐶 mom trying to make it in this world 🌎