This Week I Learned #13

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up”
— Charlie Munger


  • Wise: Seth Godin interview. A nice short interview hitting on a mental state: "You can either be curious or angry but you can't be both." It's more productive to choose to be curious rather than being angry. That's obvious. But what doesn't seem to be obvious is the power of curiousity. Curiosity is the driving force behind the desire to learn and that is required to grow and without growth you will remain stagnant. Stagnation is actually decay because the world around will continue to grow. The interview also touches upon a key marketing idea: "People like us buy stuff like this." Practically means you aren't looking to sell to everyone. It's back to Kevin Kelly's 1000 true fans idea. But whatever you create and ship will resonate with a unique audience that is like you and that is what your products are for. That is okay. That is actually the point. They will be the strongest organic marketing force.


  • Wise: Self-awareness is essential. Probably the most important requirement for anyone. With that thought in mind I reviewed my own Enneagram test results again. Enneagram is a personality test like Myers-Briggs. I first heard about it from Drew Houston, the co-founder of Dropbox, and he uses it for his own company. I've personally found the results to be much more representative of who I was based on my dairy journals and feedback logs and its formed a basis for helping me build out what I should focus on. No personality test is definitive but I found this to be solid on building on as a foundation for self-awareness. I'm a Type 8 with Wing 7. Take the test here:


  • Wise: Quote on independence of thought and learning to be non-consensus and right "A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” - Max Lucado


  • Wise: Recently reviewed Farnam Street's guide to reading a book. It's an important skill to practice and develop over time. My recent incorporations have been in only reading 1 book at a time and actually quitting books. There are just too many good books to waste time on reading one I won't get interested in or won't be excited to read further. The $$ paid for the book is sunk cost and the author must continue to earn my time and attention. Time spent reading the book too is sunk cost so there is no need to finish it if it doesn't interest you. New tactics I plan to incorporate for my next book are: summarizing my learnings after reading each chapter (first without going back to my notes and then going back to my notes to see if I missed anything), summarizing the core learnings after finishing the book and then taking time off the book before doing another full review. Another key tactic to work on is being succinct with my reviews. I've found I think too many ideas are important so keeping constraints may actually be the important thing to consider.


  • Wealthy: Interview with Randy Fiskin, Founder of Moz and author of Lost and Founder, breaking down the various startup myths. US small business statistics on 5-year survival rate. Restaurants are at 50%, consulting businesses are the longest lived at 75%, tech startups that raise venture financing are below 35%. The interview was highly enjoyable and continued to reinforce my view on how I can define the success of a company, and success for me. It also provided a new frame of thought on success. Success in the day, success in a career, success with family. Defining each forms would also be valuable in forming your own compass.


  • Wise: Continued theme of self-awareness. Watched a short clip of Gary Vaynerchuk's interview. His message is quite same everywhere but this recent video had a bit that I enjoyed hearing. I've constantly been telling friends to focus on their strengths. I 100% believe in doubling down on strength areas. Many people I advise on this strategy choose to invest in their weaknesses to be mediocre in it and fear doubling down on their strength in fear because they don't think they can be the greatest in the world at it. The interview brought up a good perspective that I plan to tell future people I advise and that is: It's not about whether you can be the best in the world. You focusing on your strength may mean you will be average. But you focusing on your weaknesses will mean you will be below average in society. So it's better to double down on your strength to at least be an average performer. This is the case for most people for that is the definition of average. This is in-line with Nietzsche's idea of the "uberman" idea that there will be a few people who are meant for greatness and not all were created equal. Regardless, that should not deter people from doubling down on their strengths. Another point Gary spoke about I liked was on the flock of people trying to start companies. Some people might actually be better off being corporate consultants and they can do well in that organized structure but because of the hype in the environment right now of over-glorifying startup founders everyone is trying to be startup entrepreneurs and being depressed from failing. Understand who you are and what you are good at and stick to that.


  • Wealthy: “To be the best in the world, you’ve got to quit a whole bunch of other stuff.” - Seth Godin

Daniel LeeTWIL