Book Review: Quit by Annie Duke


I was browsing a bookstore in Central London after leaving an industry event in a huff. I was so sick and tired of paying hundreds of pounds to go to conferences and seeing the same speakers speak about the same things.

The truth was, I had been fed up with the industry for a long time. I was trying to use my agency to change it, but that was extremely futile and not very smart!

So, when I stumbled upon Annie’s book “Quit”, it called out to me for many reasons.

I have recently started playing poker and Annie is known to be one of the greatest female poker players of all time. I’ve already read her other book “Thinking in Bets” and loved it.

So, when the big word QUIT stared at me, I saw it as a sign.

I absolutely love the book and would recommend it for anyone who is at a junction in their life where they want to take another direction but are perhaps a little bit too scared to.

Book Overview

Annie Duke is a former professional poker player but is now a decision strategist. She analyses the art of decision-making and the powerful impact of knowing when to walk away.

Naturally, in poker, this is an essential skill – know when to fold ‘em and know when to hold ‘em… right?! So, Annie has already had this skill down for years.

But in this book, she delves into the concept of “quitting” as a strategic decision-making tool. Whether it’s a business venture, a project, or even a personal pursuit, quitting is a critical skill that can lead to more effective and fulfilling outcomes.

So, whether you resonate with playing poker or the challenges and decisions faced by entrepreneurs, this is great book to help you open your eyes up to the possibilities when you embrace quitting.

Topics Covered

Sunk Cost Fallacy

I think this is one of the biggest ones with entrepreneurs – we put our blood, sweat and tears into our businesses and cannot face walking away from our investments (both financial and emotional).

Duke challenges the common cognitive bias of the sunk cost fallacy where many people continue just because resources have already been dedicated.

Expected Value in Decision-Making

This is something I am currently learning in the world of poker – with each bet, I need to weigh up the odds of winning that hand and compare the money I win to what I would need to invest. 

So, if I expect to make more money than I bet, that would be a positive EV.

In entrepreneurship, I really should be calculating the EV of all major decisions! In the long-run, if I invest more time and money here, will I be getting a positive EV?

Embracing Uncertainty

Uncertainty is the one thing you can be certain of in business, just like in poker! Except, in poker, it’s called variance.

This book encourages readers to embrace uncertainty and make peace with the fact that not all decisions will yield predictable results.

Key Takeaways

What have I personally taken away from this book?

Well, I am completely pivoting (or am I just quitting?!) my agency into something completely different. I am embracing the change.

I think the major takeaways for everyone are:

Strategic Quitting

Recognising the difference between quitting out of frustration or impatience vs quitting strategically. Annie produces a framework for evaluating when to persevere and when to pivot.

Reframing Failure

Change your perspective on failure. Duke advocates viewing quitting as a valuable tool for learning and iterating, rather than seeing it as a sign of weakness.

Decision Hygiene

I’d never heard this term before, so it stayed with me. It refers to cultivating a mindful approach to choices, and Annie provides practical tips for reducing decision fatigue and making more deliberate choices.

You’ll Love This If You Love…

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
Thinking in Bets – Annie Duke