This Week I Learned #38

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


  • Wise: Scott Adams, Creator of Dilbert, on becoming a better writer. Plenty of fundamental learnings to abide by for future essays: The first sentence of the essay is key. It needs to grab attention. Simple sentences with one thought each. Readers aren't as smart as you think they are. Structure the subject before the verb. Most brains are wired to digest information in that format. Kill most extra words, they add no value. Link here 


  • Healthy: Karl Lagerfeld died today. It's crazy to think that I just watched his documentary on Netflix to learn more about his life's work. What is fascinating is how vast the world is. I finally learned about the 85 year old fashion titan this week to immediately learn about his passing. An eerie sadness. In the short time I've known him, this event has led to a form of admiration at how absorbed he was in his work even until the year before his death. That's what you want in life, I think. A complete obsession for your craft till death. Not retired on a beach at 84 but running one of the world's most iconic fashion shows. In the documentary, Karl says a dress as 4 dimensions. The 4th dimension is movement. He draws all the dresses for the Chanel Couture, the fashion brand's annual iconic fashion show. When asked if he made any of the dresses he said "Of course not. Then we would get nothing done. I draw, that's my job. I let the others do their jobs." Another titan obsessed with a craft. 


  • Wise: Learnings from the Jim Collins interview with Tim Ferriss. First off, I can't believe I haven't read Good to Great yet, I have to. 1) What Jim Collins learned from his chat with Peter Drucker: Don't make 100 decisions when 1 will do. 2) The advice Jim got from his mentor at Stanford on whether he should keep enough career capital alive at Stanford in case he wanted to come back if his entrepreneurial venture failed. His mentor said "An option to come back has negative value". Jim inquired "Doesn't an option always have positive value?", and his mentor said "No. Not on a creative path. Having an option to come back will change behaviour. If you're playing a low odds game then you need to put everything into it and having an option will leave an opening for you to pull back when you get the chance." Link here 


  • Wealthy: "Highest quality of living comes from being the master of your own time." - Catherine Fake


  • Wise: Theodore Roosevelt's Man in the arena poem. The world is full of critics. It's easier to be a critic and people have a bias to uphold those who criticize. Yet we must focus on the critics who matter. Only those who have fought in the arena are worth listening to or heeding. At the end of the day, only those who actually fight in the arena have anything of value to say. Link here. 


  • Wise: Charlie Munger's 2019 Daily Journal Annual Meeting interview. A highlight of my week for sure with no 2 hours better spend ingesting the wisdom of a 95 year old Charlie Munger. One my favourite quotes from this meeting: "If you look at the modern world where someone is trying to teach you to actively trade in stocks. I see that as the equivalent of inducing young people to start off on heroin. it is really stupid. when you're already rich and you are encouraging young people to get rich by trading." It's true that you have a large amount of the world's smartest people dedicating their lives to predicting what can't be predicted to shave off a little bit of fees at the top. Yet, what's worse are the "masters" who profit by trying to teach what can't be taught with formulas. Designations, courses, how to books and the like are all guilty of this. A full learning memo will be published as a future essay. Link here.


  • Wealthy: Charles Duhigg's essay on the dichotomy of following the predefined social success ladder and how most who do end up miserable. The simple function is that most have never stopped to actually think. Think about who they are and actually sought to be self-aware. Nay, they just ran blind thinking the crowd knew better. It's a long one but a fun read to give you perspective. Though if you're a fan of my essays and the other learnings I've been sending out I don't think this should be news to you. Link here. 


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Daniel LeeOMD VenturesTWIL