This Week I Learned #54

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


  • Podcast episode with Tim Ferriss and Jerry Colonna of Reboot. A therapeutic episode on dealing with anxiety, building relationships and handling attention (i.e. Learned that Tim Ferriss has 640K unread emails and 250K unread text messages and he is now starting to get comfortable with it). Also got a look into Jerry's fascinating career from Flatiron partners to jumping to the "obvious" role in PE out of fear, why he got a spider tattoo above his heart and how he got into the world of coaching founders.


  • “With my family, I’m a communist. With my close friends, I’m a socialist. At the state level of politics, I’m a Democrat. At higher levels, I’m a Republican, and at the federal levels, I’m a Libertarian.” - Nassim Taleb. The larger the group of people you have together, the less trust there is and the more cheating takes place – the more you gear towards capitalism. The smaller the group you’re in – then by all means be a socialist


  • Podcast Interview with Joe Rogan and Naval Ravikant.

    • Your real resume is a catalog of all your suffering.

    • Everyone can be rich, it’s just hard

    • Life is a single player game. The beliefs, risks and decision you make will make the world look a certain way (positive or negative). Reality is neutral, the world merely reflects your belief. 

    • "Every man has two lives and the second starts when he realizes he only has one" - Confucius. 

    • A happy person wants 10,000 things, a sick person just wants 1. Realize that happiness is a belief and a choice. 

    • Desire is suffering. Don’t focus on more than one desire at a time because the universe will work to get you that desire but that doesn't come without sacrifice. 


  • I went through all of Naval Ravikant's 38 podcast episodes in one sitting. The theme of the podcast is "How to get rich without being lucky". It was only about 2.5 hours. After the 1st run I decided to take notes for the second run through. I recently learned Naval's net worth is approx. 2.2Bn. Not bad for a poor kid from India who was $400 short in paying for college. Now he is the Chariman + Founder of Angelist and early investor in Twitter, Uber, ProductHunt and dozens of other startups. 

    • Wealth is positive sum game, status is a zero sum game. Sports is a status game with winner and losers. Most status games make you put others down. Statuses exist with hierarchies and they have tops and bottoms. Wealth is where you can collectively get wealthy together (i.e. building more houses for the growth of the communal network)

    • 4 kinds of luck: 1) Blind luck (i.e. fortune) 2) Persistence/Hustle luck (i.e. hustle energy generates luck finding luck, fortune favours the bold, stir the pot). 3) You get skilled at finding luck (i.e. finding opportunities, expanding markets) 4) Build a unique character and brand where luck finds you (i.e. putting yourself in position to benefit from someone else's blind luck, building character). The fourth is the hardest to achieve but the most sustainable. 

    •  Look for careers where the input and output are disconnected. These are careers with more leverage (i.e. creativity). Professions that rely more on creativity will have giant disconnects (i.e. media + coding + product creation). Career that is connected is where 1 hour of work creates 10 widgets and 2 hours makes 20. 

    • Specific knowledge: you can't be trained for it but you can learn it. That's what you'll get paid for. Obtain it by pursuing your innate curiousity, talents and passions. You need to be 100% into it. Develop your specific knowledge by following your own genuine interests. Develop them by staying in that area over time. Double down on what you are a natural at as a starting point for acquiring that specific knowledge. 

    • Learn to build and sell. A builder can pick up selling, so focus on developing a builder mentality. Sales skills scale better over time (i.e. your reputation scales better over time). Hence, start out as a builder then transition into being a seller over time. 

    • Foundation of learning is reading. Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than learning. The learning curve is in iterations. The more iterations, the faster you will learn. It's not about just spending more ours doing the same things. You need to "do" but with more iterations to test for more outcomes.  

    • The herd is focused on winning a little bit everyday for the risk of a blowup (i.e. salaried employee) instead of bleeding a little everyday to win with a black swan event (i.e. Entrepreneurship, Nassim Taleb's trading strategy). Learn to get comfortable with bleeding a little everyday. Struggle constantly. 

    • Take accountability. Stamp your name to earn equity and trust. You will also be responsible if you fail as well. But that gives you ownership of the upside as much as the downside. 

    • 4 types of Leverage: Labour, Capital, Media, Product. Permission-based leverage: Labour + Capital; Labour is worst form of leverage given it's complexity but people value it most (aka overrated). Code/Product and Media are new generation of leverage and is Permission-less (i.e. everyone can be a broadcaster + tech creator). 

    • Technology startups combine: Labour, Capital, Product and sometimes Media to have massive effect and wealth creation. 

    • Media/Code Products are not zero sum. They earned signals of exclusivity like a Rolex that requires the price to continue to go up for it to have meaning and exclusivity. Media/Code products are available for everyone and are more egalitarian. Also, the marginal cost for each product is 0 as they can be distributed to more people at close to 0 cost after initial creation. 

    • Things with 0 marginal cost can have network effects. Network effects follow Metcalfe's law of n^2, meaning 10 people in the network make the value 100 and 20 people make it 400. 

    • Product Founder Market Fit: Are you sited to work in this market? Is it an emerging market where you have specific knowledge and you are genuinely curious in it?

    • Be impatient with actions (i.e. just do it ASAP) and patient with results (i.e. You have no idea when it will work out, just keep doing). 

    • Inspiration is perishable so act when it hits you. 

    • If you are truly building something authentic to who you are, people won't be able to compete. Figure out what you are good at (per trusted people's observations and not your belief) that the market values. 

    • A calm mind, fit body and household of love can't be bought with money. Even Jeff Bezos has to go to the gym to get fit. 

    • Try to have 3 kinds of hobbies: 1 that makes you money, 1 that makes you smarter, 1 that makes you fit. 



  • "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso


  • "Enjoy the little things in life for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things." - Kurt Vonnegut


  • A story from the book: All Those Wonders: A child soldier from Sierra Leone was adopted to a NYC home when he was 15/16. In the hopes of salvaging 2 years of "childhood" he didn't tell friends in school about his past life. His family members had all been killed in the war and he became a soldier at 11 (I think). He had a hard time getting accepted into a school in NY because he did not have a report card. Considering schools had burned down and his days were filled with surviving and killing it seemed rather funny they demanded a report card from his past "education". A particular story he sheds light on is when his posh NYC friends invited him to play paintball in one of their upstate vacation homes. Long story short, he destroyed all his friends. What was fascinating was how he narrated the memorization of the terrain and how it was so instinctual to him because it was how he had survived all those years in the war. He even spoke about a guerrilla warfare tactic of walking backwards in the mud to trick people into following it while he would shoot them from behind from within the bushes. Upon hearing about his paintball experience his foster mother was worried the experience may have triggered some kind of PTSD. I don't know if it was because of his young age but he laughed it off as he pointed out he did not have to fear for his life of it was nothing of the sort. It was a fun story that serves as a reminder of all the kinds of people that live in the world and how most problems anyone would experience in North America is nothing to fret about or be worried about. What we lack is perspective.