The Great Mental Models Project

The Great Mental Models is a project by FS to help equalize opportunity in the world by making a high-quality multidisciplinary education free and available to everyone.

The project starts with five reference books that cover the core, timeless, INDIVIDUAL mental models you should have learned in school with a broad education. After the books are done, we’ll make them free on a website and CONNECT them to one another. Once we’ve connected and enriched them, we’ll create a set of META MODELS that we can use to frame our thinking. The project is not designed to be sexy but rather to stimulate curiosity and educate. You can support the project by buying a book, making a donation, joining the learning community, or all. Or you can simply wait, and we’ll make it free.

“I’m really glad this exists in the world and I can see that I will be recommending it often.”

— Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automattic

The old saying goes, “To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” But anyone who has done any kind of project knows a hammer often isn’t enough.

The more tools you have at your disposal, the more likely you’ll use the right tool for the job — and get it done right.

The same is true when it comes to your thinking. The quality of your outcomes depends on the mental models in your head. And most people are going through life with little more than a hammer.

Until now.

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts is the first book in The Great Mental Models series designed to upgrade your thinking with the best, most useful and powerful tools so you always have the right one on hand.

This volume details nine of the most versatile, all-purpose mental models you can use right away to improve your decision making, productivity, and how clearly you see the world. You will discover what forces govern the universe and how to focus your efforts so you can harness them to your advantage, rather than fight with them or worse yet— ignore them.

Upgrade your mental toolbox and get the first volume today!

What’s Inside 

This is the first book in a 5 volume series that will cover the most versatile and useful of the mental models from a variety of disciplines. In volume one, we cover the first 9 mental models that we refer to as the General Thinking Concepts. A thorough understanding of these 9 models will, without a doubt, improve the way you approach problems, consider opportunities, and make difficult decisions.

A chapter is dedicated to each model, dissecting it in three ways. First, we define it. Second, we provide real world examples where this model has been used, (or in some cases, show the consequences of where it was ignored.) And last, we offer suggestions for how these models can be applied in your own life — where they really matter.

It was important to us from the beginning that this be more than an encyclopedia of mental models. It needed to be useful — help change behaviors, thought patterns, and how we interpret what we see. At first we will explain the models in isolation and then we will connect them and build meta models.

How to Order

Volume 1 Audio is out! Kindle comes out Oct 9, 2019 but you can pre-order now. Details on the physical book below.

How do I get a Physical Book?

We spent a lot of money and time creating 3,000 copies of the physical book that we gave away to members of the Learning Community. But then we were out of books and people sent me emails. A lot of emails. Too many emails.

For those of you who missed out on volume one, my friend and fellow LC member Matt Mullenweg got a copy and reached out telling me he wanted to make it more available in the world. We talked about it a little and we’re going to partner with Automattic to print more copies of v1, v2, and hopefully v3-5 as well. The books will be slightly different than the ones we printed but it will be available to everyone on As for timing, it’ll be sometime this year. So… stay tuned.

Why Is the Kindle Copy Released Later

Audible wanted a 6 month exclusive and we gave them one.

Spread the Word

Here are some cool images you can use on social media if you want to spread the word.

  • Understanding is only useful when we adjust our behavior and actions accordingly. (Image for twitter/instagram )

Volume Two: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

Building on the idea that learning worldly wisdom improves our decisions and our outcomes, and leads to a more meaningful life, volume 2 of The Great Mental Models series explains the foundational concepts of physics, chemistry, and biology, demonstrating the value of having these models in your toolkit. These fundamental concepts are everywhere, and if you want to make decisions based on how the world really works, thereby improving your chances of success, then these are critical models to understand. Each chapter explains the key concepts of the science, and then explores how to use them as a model through examining historical examples.

When will Volume Two be Available?

No idea. Hopefully this year in kindle/audio. The physical book might be delayed.


Volume 1 Bonus Material

Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts