Rolf Dobelli

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Rolf Dobelli
Dobelli's promotional portrait in 2010
Born (1966-07-15) July 15, 1966 (age 57)
Luzern, Switzerland
Occupation(s)Author, businessman

Rolf Dobelli (July 15, 1966) born in Luzern, Switzerland,[1] is a Swiss author and entrepreneur.


Dobelli studied philosophy and business administration at the University of St. Gallen where he graduated with a doctorate on the "Deconstruction of Economic Discourse" in 1995. He then went to work as the CFO and Managing Director in various Swissair subsidiaries. In 1999 he co-founded "getAbstract".

From 2001 to 2009 Dobelli hosted a weekly television show "Seitenweise Wirtschaft" for the Swiss newspaper and media company, NZZ. He also wrote a weekly column on the Art of Thinking Clearly.[2]

Dobelli who sees himself as a modern Stoic,[3] founded World.minds in 2008 to create a bridge between the science, business and cultural communities. Speakers included: Nassim Taleb,[4] Gerhard Schröder, F. W. de Klerk, and Matt Ridley. In March 2022, media group Axel Springer took over the majority in World.minds to extend its portfolio of Community business.[5]

He resigned from getAbstract in 2011 so that he could dedicate himself to writing. Dobelli's increasing dissatisfaction with the world of pure business was already reflected in his 2003 novel titled "35 - A Midlife Story". This was followed by his 2004 book, "And what do you do for a living" and his 2007 book "Who am I? 777 indiscreet questions."

"Avoid news consumption"[edit]

Dobelli advises his readers to "avoid news consumption".[6][7] He cites "fifteen reasons to avoid news" in a 2013 blog post.[8] It is the subject of a book in English titled, "Stop Reading the News: How to cope with the information overload and think more clearly".[9] Dobelli's writings are sometimes controversial. The Guardian newspaper columnist Madeleine Bunting has even gone so far as accusing his ideas on news of being "dangerous".[10] In 2020, Dobelli stated on China Television that news is "A Disease for the Brain", stating further, "10 years ago I decided to go completely without news – no newspapers, no online news, no television, no radio – and it's been a very rewarding journey for me. I've saved a lot of time. I have more concentration…and have less anxiety."[citation needed] In 2020, in a conversation with Rob Wijnberg Dobelli said, "news focuses mainly on exceptional events. It doesn't help you to fundamentally to understand the world. And it makes you cynical and anxious".[11]

Books and reception[edit]

In 2003, Diogenes Verlag (Switzerland) published his first novel, Fünfunddreissig ("Thirty-five"), followed by Und was machen Sie beruflich? ("And What Do You Do for a Living?") in 2004, Himmelreich (The Heavens) in 2006, Wer bin ich? ("Who am I?") and Turbulenzen ("Turbulence") in 2007 and Massimo Marini in 2010. The major themes in Dobelli's novels are the meaning of success and the role of randomness in business and in life.

Dobelli is the author of The Art of Thinking Clearly (Die Kunst des klaren Denkens), originally published by Carl Hanser Verlag in 2011, which was an instant success, entering Germany's Der Spiegel Bestseller list as number 1.[12] It was the bestselling non-fiction book in Germany and Switzerland in 2012.[13] It was translated into English in 2013 by Nicky Griffin and hit the top ten bestseller lists in the U.K,[14][15] South Korea, India,[16] Ireland,[17] Hong Kong and Singapore.[18] In 2019 former Chief of Staff of the US Airforce Ronald Fogleman added the book to the top CSAF Required reading program.[19] Dobelli presented his new book, "The Art of the Good Life", at an London School of Economics (LSE) Business Review event in October 2017.[20]

In 2020 Dobelli published "Stop Reading the News, A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life".[21] In 2012 Dobelli had already published an essay on this topic on his personal website, which The Guardian reported about in 2013.[22] Martin Newman, reviewing the book for the Financial Review wrote, "'Stop Reading the News' explores the explosion of opinion-based news, the elevation of mediocrity over substance (The Kardashians!!), the way news creates the illusion of empathy, can elevate stress levels and builds a mindset that reinforces negativity".[23] In November 2020, when asked how to deal the Covid pandemic, Dobelli simply commented: "Opinions are like noses: everyone has one. Let's stop complaining."[24]


In 2013, Nassim Nicholas Taleb published a piece on his website in which he accused Dobelli of plagiarism.[25][26] This piece was published concurrently with a number of personal attacks launched by Taleb.[27] This and other personal attacks have led commentators to question Taleb's motives.[28] Later, Christopher Chabris also published what he claimed to be an example in Dobelli's book that is referenced but does not have quotation marks.[29] While Dobelli never claimed that the ideas were his, he has acknowledged their concerns and has updated subsequent editions.[30] Claims of plagiarism have been disputed by Claudius Seidl, the cultural editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.[31]

In German[edit]

  • Fünfunddreissig (Thirty-five), 2003
  • Und was machen Sie beruflich? (And What Do You Do for a Living?), 2004
  • Himmelreich (The Heavens), 2006
  • Wer bin ich? (Who Am I?), 2007
  • Turbulenzen (Turbulence), 2007
  • Massimo Marini, 2010
  • Die Kunst des klaren Denkens (The Art of Thinking Clearly), 2011
  • Die Kunst des klugen Handelns (The Art of Acting Clearly), 2012
  • Fragen an das Leben, 2014
  • Die Kunst des guten Lebens, 2017
  • Die Kunst des digitalen Lebens, 2019

In English[edit]




  1. ^ "Rolf Dobelli".
  2. ^ Fuchs, Helmut. "Klarer Kenken". Archived from the original on 2011-10-25.
  3. ^ "Leben mit dem Abgrund: Wie uns Philosophie trösten kann". 20 December 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  4. ^ "Nassim Nicholas Taleb ZURICH.MINDS. Talk with Rolf Dobelli". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  5. ^ Uwe Foerster (29 March 2022). "Axel Springer schnappt sich World Minds". Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  6. ^ Avoid News - Towards a healthy news diet Archived 2013-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Guardian News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier print and online edition of 13 April 2013
  8. ^ "All in the Mind" on BBC Radio 30 April 2013, starting at 15:00 min. Why you should stay away from news - published online. The Huffington Post "Danny Rubin: News Is Bad for You? Here Are 9 Reasons Why That Idea Is Flat Wrong". 16 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-12.. News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier - Essay in English published by the Guardian
  9. ^ Stop Reading the News: How to cope with the information overload and think more clearly
  10. ^ "Rolf Dobelli's ideas about not needing news are dangerous". 18 April 2013.
  11. ^ Rob, Wijnberg (16 January 2020). "Quitting the News: A Conversation with Rolf Dobelli". The Correspondent.
  12. ^ Der Spiegel Bestseller List, 12 Jan 2012 Archived 2008-07-31 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Der Spiegel print edition 1/2013 p. 121
  14. ^ The Times bestseller list hardback non-fiction, 21 April 2013
  15. ^ The Sunday Times bestseller list 7 July 2013 (rank number 4)
  16. ^ [Crossword book retailer's bestseller list June 2013]
  17. ^ Writing.IE Bestseller List, 14 June 2013
  18. ^ The Straits Times bestseller list non-fiction, 28 April 2013
  19. ^ "The Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List". Airforce Magazine.
  20. ^ Helena Vieira (27 October 2017). "Rolf Dobelli: 'People will say about you what they want. Treat it as white noise.'". LSE. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  21. ^ Humphrey, Joe. "Journalism has become "ridiculous": The case for turning off the news". The Irish Times.
  22. ^ Madeleine Bunting (18 April 2013). "Rolf Dobelli's ideas about not needing news are dangerous". Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  23. ^ Newman, Martin (February 15, 2020). "Don't read this story! (You may have news overload)". Financial Review.
  24. ^ "111 Schweizer Persönlichkeiten machen uns Mut «So packen wir das»". 1 November 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  25. ^ Guido Kalberer, [ Nassim Taleb attackiert Rolf Dobelli], Tages-Anzeiger, 12 September 2013.
  26. ^ Nassim, Taleb. "Rolf Dobelli's Serial Plagiarism of N. N. Taleb's Incerto". Fooled by Randomness.
  27. ^ Boesler, Matthew (April 24, 2013). "Nassim Taleb Gets Into Historic Twitter Brawl, Shows Everyone How ANTIFRAGILE He Is". Business Insider.
  28. ^ Kloor, Keith (November 1, 2014). "Why is Nassim Taleb So Venomous on Twitter?". Discover Magazine.
  29. ^ Christpoher, Chabris. "Similarities Between Rolf Dobelli's Book and Ours".
  30. ^ Dobelli, Rolf. "Book Corrections".
  31. ^ Seidl, Claudius. "Plagiatstreit um Rolf Dobelli". September 26, 2013. Frankfurter Algemeiner Zeitung.
  32. ^ "Rolf Dobelli". Retrieved 2013-08-12.

External links[edit]