Archives for August 2016

August 29, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0022

Commonplace #0022

At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.

Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.

When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.

Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.

Repeat this process every working day.

August 29, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0021

Commonplace #0021

Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience.

Remember that in the present stage of civilization a proper armament is the surest guarantee of peace - and is the only guarantee that war, if it does come, will not mean irreparable and overwhelming disaster.

In a crisis, the man worth his salt is the man who meets the needs of the situation in whatever way is necessary.

August 29, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0020

Commonplace #0020

The way to compete against the giants is not with money. Google will outbid you. They have oil derrick that spits out $30bn in search revenue every year.

To win, you need to tell a story about cogs. At Google, you’re a cog. Whereas with me, you’re an instrumental piece of this great thing that we’ll build together. Articulate the vision. Don’t even try to pay well. Meet people’s cash flow needs. Pay them so they can cover their rent and go out every once in awhile.

It’s not about cash. It’s about breaking through the wall of cynicism. It’s about making 1% of this new thing way more exciting than a couple hundred grand and a cubicle at Google.

We tend to massively underestimate the compounding returns of intelligence.

As humans, we need to solve big problems. If you graduate Stanford at 22 and Google recruits you, you’ll work a 9-to-5. It’s probably more like an 11-to-3 in terms of hard work. They’ll pay well. It’s relaxing. But what they are actually doing is paying you to accept a much lower intellectual growth rate.

When you recognize that intelligence is compounding, the cost of that missing long-term compounding is enormous. They’re not giving you the best opportunity of your life. Then a scary thing can happen: You might realize one day that you’ve lost your competitive edge. You won’t be the best anymore. You won’t be able to fall in love with new stuff. Things are cushy where you are. You get complacent and stall.

Run your prospective engineering hires through that narrative. Then show them the alternative: working at your startup.

August 21, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0018

Commonplace #0018

Life is too short to spend your time avoiding failure. The wise ones bet heavily when the world offers them that opportunity. They bet big when they have the odds. And the rest of the time they don’t. It is just that simple.

As an entrepreneur everything you do – every action you take in product development, in marketing, every conversation you have, everything you do – is an experiment. If you can conceptualize your work not as building features, not as launching campaigns, but as running experiments, you can get radically more done with less effort.

August 6, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0017

Commonplace #0017

Don’t Complain: Complaining is the biggest waste of time there is. Either do something about it, and if you can’t, shut up about it.

Spend Time With People You Love: That’s your family and best friends. If you don’t have a family, create one. Most people in life are only visitors. Family is for life.

Don’t Start A Relationship If You’re Not In Love: I’ve done this more than once. You kind of like someone and think: “We might as well give it a shot.” Not a good idea. You’re either in love, or you are not. Don’t fool yourself. It’s not fair to you and the other person.

Exercise Daily: I didn’t get this until recently. A healthy body is where you have to start everything in life. If you can’t build a healthy and strong body, what CAN you build in life?

Keep A Journal: No, keeping a journal is not for children. It helps you to become a better thinker and writer. “I don’t want to be a writer” you might think. Well, how many emails and texts do you send a day? Everybody is a writer.

Be Grateful: Say ‘thank you’ to everyone and everything. “Thank you for this beautiful day.” “Thank you for your email.” “Thank you for being there for me.”

Don’t Care About What People Think: We all die in the end, do you really think it matters what people think of you?

Take More Risks: Don’t be such a wimp.

Pick An Industry, Not A Job: If you want to become good at something, you need to spend years and years doing that. You can’t do that if you hop from industry to industry. Pick an industry you love and start at the bottom. You will find the perfect role for you eventually.

Lead The Way: When you find yourself in a situation where everyone looks at each other, it’s time for you to lead. You‘re a leader when you decide to become one. There’s no initiation or a title. Just a decision.

Money Isn’t Important: It really isn’t. But you have to train yourself not to care about money. Don’t become too dependent on the stuff you own — otherwise, the stuff will own you.

Be Nice: I don’t mean you should be a pushover. You can be someone that doesn’t take shit and be nice about it. Just don’t insult people, think you’re better than them, or act like an idiot.

Learn Every Day: You’ve got to train your brain to stay alert. You don’t have to read a book a day to learn every day. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the people around you — be open to what they can teach you.

Rest Before You Are Tired: Even if you love your job, and every day seems like a holiday, you need to take time to rest. You’re a human and not an android, never forget that.

Don’t Judge: Just because people make different choices than you, they are not stupid. Also, you don’t know everything about people, so don’t judge them — help them.

Think About Others: Just be mindful, that’s all. We all have families, bills to pay, and our own issues. Don’t always make everything about yourself.

Give Without Expecting Something In Return: Don’t keep score. You will become a bitter person if you do that. Give solely for the joy of giving. If you get something in return, great, if you don’t, great.

There’s No End Game: We, as a species, just are. Don’t try to figure it all out. Enjoy your journey.

Enjoy Small Things: I like clichés because they are true. Especially this one. You know why? Everyone says they know it, but no one lives up to it. They just chase big things.

Don’t Take Yourself So Serious: Yeah, yeah, you’re an individual, and people have to take you seriously, I get it. But at the end of the day, we’re all a bunch of ants trying to chase the same things. Lighten up.

Don’t Blame People: What’s point? Do you want to punish them? You don’t do that to people. Also don’t blame yourself — you’re only human.

Create Something: Not to leave a legacy, you won’t be here to see it anyway, but to be of use. Make music, write a book, build a table, anything. You’ll feel good about yourself, plus you give something back to people to use or enjoy.

Never Look Back Too Long: Reflecting on the past is only good for one thing: Learning.

Take Action: Don’t just sit there, do something. Without action, there is no outcome.

August 6, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0016

Commonplace #0016

Mistakes are what superior investing is about. In short, in order for one side of a transaction to turn out to be a major success, the other side has to have been a big mistake. There’s an old saying in poker that there’s a “fish” (a sucker, or an unskilled player who’s likely to lose) in every game, and if you’ve played for an hour without having figured out who the fish is, then it’s you. Likewise, in every investment transaction you’re part of, it’s likely that someone’s making a mistake. The key to success is to not have it be you.

August 6, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0015

Commonplace #0015

To solve a big question, you first have to focus on the user you're solving it for—then everything else will follow. You can't just understand your users' needs—you need to actually relate to them.

Being able to describe an idea in less than six words helps you clarify it.

Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.

I don’t believe in process. In fact, when I interview a potential employee and he or she says that ‘it’s all about the process,’ I see that as a bad sign. The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.

August 6, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0014

Commonplace #0014

The more difficult the decision, the less it matters what you choose. Sometimes you are better off making a decision and living with it than agonizing over the decision for a long period and as a result experiencing a significant delay.

The new environment dictates two rules: first, everything happens faster; second, anything that can be done will be done, if not by you, then by someone else, somewhere.

The essence of strategy is choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are much more difficult to match.

Put all of your eggs in one basket and WATCH THAT BASKET.

August 6, 2016 - Comments Off on Commonplace #0013

Commonplace #0013

If you can work to change the outcome of something, what you do to impact that outcome isn’t luck. The cause of that success is instead hard work or skill.

Never put your money in something where you don’t have an information/knowledge advantage.

An effective manager or investor knows the other side of the argument better than the people who he or she disagrees with. Since most mistakes are psychological or emotional, attachment of these factors to the past is banished by the most effective managers since that baggage is what an accountant would refer to as “sunk.”