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Atoms & Bits
Audience first products
Building an Audience
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Philosophy of Music
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The Benefits of Overconfidence
The map is not the territory
The Medium is the Message
Theory of constraints
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Tiny House Village
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A topic by Tony Ennis
Doing Early Work
"The habits that prevent us from starting for fear of making something lame ... are not very deeply rooted."
"In the past we didn't need customs for dealing with new ideas, because there were very few new ideas."
On being dismissed by others
"We don't have enough experience with early versions of ambitious projects to know how to respond to them".
People dismiss new ideas because of zero-sum status psychology - "They worry that if you succeed, it will put you above them."
The right way to deal with new ideas is to switch polarity, from listing the reasons they won't work to trying to think of ways it could."
Silicon Valley is the exception in this regard - people have learned how dangerous it is to dismiss something that looks like a toy.
In the Valley, the psychology was closer to "A rising tide lifts all boats.", and has since become a force of habit.
"Silicon Valley shows that dismissing new ideas is not so deeply rooted that it can't be unlearnt."
On dismissing your own ideas
Judging your own work too harshly will kill it too. Learning how to ignore that is a key skill.
Some strategies for this:
Being overconfident, even temporarily, can allow you to reach escape velocity - "if you look at something that's 20% of the way to a goal worth 100 and conclude that it's 10% of the way to a goal worth 200, your estimate of its expected value is correct even though both components are wrong."
Surrounding yourself with the right people. - "The people best able to do this are those working on similar projects of their own, which is why university departments and research labs work so well."
Discipline may work, but is the least reliable.
"Focus less on where you are and more on the rate of change."
Change the frame of a new project - "Start a new piece of software saying that it's just a quick hack"
Use your curiosity - tell yourself you're trying things "just to see how they'll turn out".
Study the history of people who've done great work.
Realize that our attitudes toward early work are themselves early work.
This is smart and unintuitive -> "in a field where the new ideas are risky those who dismiss them are more likely to be right. Just not when their predictions are weighted by outcome."
I like this -> "Good work is not done by "humble" men. It is one of the first duties of a professor to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his importance in it."
The Benefits of Overconfidence
about 1 month ago
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3 months ago