Founders 8 - exploring the mind (#3)
A fresh selection of great readings for founders' weekend. Enjoy!
Hi, troublemakers! 👋
I hope your week was as exciting as mine! Now that the weekend is knocking, it's the ideal time to unwind, but not too much! To aid that, I've put together a fresh selection of readings - pieces that have stood out, made me think, and sparked some intriguing chitchats.
Kick back, absorb the sunshine, and deep dive into these stimulating readings.
Take care, unwind, and enjoy your weekend!
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Once you’re 10x better, you escape competition
Proprietary technology is the most substantive advantage a company can have because it makes your product difficult or impossible to replicate. (…)
As a good rule of thumb, proprietary technology must be at least 10 times better than its closest substitute (…)
Amazon made its first 10x improvement in a particularly visible way: they offered at least 10 times as many books as any other bookstore.
- Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups
Impatience slows down invention
I was thinking about Thomas Edison’s famous quote (“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.“) when I came across the post “This is pointless” byin which the author recalls James Dyson’s comment on the importance of persistence in business:
Failure is just part of the process. It took me 15 years and 5,127 attempts to develop the first bagless cyclonic vacuum.
What matters about failure is that you learn from it.
Designing something that works well requires careful thought and precise measures, then relentless testing and prototyping. It takes time. Perhaps the biggest thing that holds invention back might be our impatience.
- James Dyson
Meeting Toolbox has prepared an excellent guide on conducting effective meetings that provide value not only for the purpose itself but also for the participants!
When it comes to meetings, I’m quite deeply exploring asynchronous work and communication.
Matt Mochary built an incredible database of formats and practices if you’d like to try them.
If you enjoy Matt’s approach and methods, listen to his recent interview on Tim Ferris Show. Worth your time!
Choose your values
Values are a choice. They are a parent, partner, or a leader deciding what is most important.(full article)
I think that choosing values sets the fundamental rules of the games we decide to play in life.
Determining values helps in two ways at least - it’s easier to say ‘no’ to things breaking the rules, and it guides attention back to the ‘field’ when we get distracted by some fishy fashions and trends.
Though the values evolve over time I've aligned mine along four vectors: family, health, freedom in life, and aspirations. Within each of these dimensions, I think of time, stress, money, fulfillment, etc. Together, they establish the boundaries of the field within which I wish to play.
Every founder is an adrenaline addict
If you found my recent post about why entrepreneurs are almost 50% more likely to experience depression, ADHD, and other mental health conditions interesting, there's a more in-depth analysis on why we actually become founders. This analysis delves into how our decision relates to our mental health and past experiences, among other things.
Amazing work. Thank you,.
Sam Altman on failing
If you ask a founder how her startup is going, the answer is almost always some version of “Great!”
There is a huge amount of pressure as a founder to never show weakness and to be the cheerleader in all internal and external situations.
The world can be falling down around you—and most of the time when you’re running a company, it is—and you have to be the strong, confident, and optimistic. (…)
Failing sucks—there is no way to sugarcoat that. But startups are not life-and-death matters—it’s just work.