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Founder, CEO at Newzip (YC W21)

Despite the COVID-19 economic downturn , I’ve been getting a ton of request for builders (designers, engineers, PMs, etc.). I find myself asking others for referrals more than usual.

I think it would be helpful if everyone shared the people they build with.

I’m not talking about Linkedin connections or people you work with at the same company. I’m talking about people you’ve been in the trenches with and would go to when you want to build something important.

Discovery and trust would be much easier because you could find people through people you’ve already built stuff with. And you…


lots of options

Picking what to start is the most exciting and terrifying phase of starting a new company. Every entrepreneur goes through this phase and yet there is shockingly little information about how to navigate it.

The pick accounts for a large percentage of your success. Pick wrong and waste years of your life on a dead-end. Pick right and spend +10 years getting to a successful outcome.

Entrepreneurship is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at every opportunity that comes along. You can take your time, research and test assumptions before going all-in.

I’m currently exploring what to start…


Product/market fit means being in a Good Market with a product that can satisfy that market. — Marc Andreessen

We know PMF is important but what defines a good market?

Good markets are big.

Arthur Rock, Fairchild Semiconductor: “Give me a giant market — always.”

Sequoia Capital: A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.

Don Valentine, Sequoia Capital: Target big markets — If you don’t attack a big market, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to build a big company.

Good markets are growing.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank: And I wanted to pick a business where the…


The world would be a better place if we all tried to think and imagine more like Walt Disney.

Walt’s 10-minute, animated films changed the movie industry and helped his startup become one of the most important organizations in the world. The Walt Disney Company owns Marvel (Ironman), LucasFilm (Star Wars), ESPN (College Football), ABC (Modern Family), Pixar (Toy Story), amusement parks and so much more.

The company’s success wasn’t accidental. Walt set out from day one to always achieve the impossible. He encouraged his team to think bigger and more creative by telling them to plus It!

It’s kind…


How do you become the best version of yourself?

This question inspired 20-year-old Benjamin Franklin to create the 13-virtue character development system.

Benjamin’s 13 virtues helped him succeed in politics, invention, music, business, science and diplomacy.

A few of his accomplishments…

  • Politics: contributed to America’s independence and is referred to as “the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.”
  • Invention: invented the lighting rod, bifocals, long-arm, Franklin stove and political cartoons.
  • Business: created multiple successful newspapers and the wildly popular Poor Richard’s Almanack.

I discovered the 13-virtue system 3 years ago while reading Walter Isaacson’s “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.” …


Ray Dalio’s new book, Principles, gives a ~600-page view into the thinking that built the world’s largest hedge fund.

As I was reading the book, I couldn’t help but wish for this level of transparency into the thinking of all the best entrepreneurs, philosophers, writers, inventors, investors, artists, politicians and scientists.

Everyone thinks all day, every day. So, why isn’t sharing thinking practices more common? 🤔

A friend of mine suggested that I make “my thinking” public.

Since I try to think in terms of mental models [1], here are the mental models I live by on a daily…


Humility and triangulation of great people is an excellent way of raising ones probability of making a good decision. — Ray Dalio

No one wants to be wrong.

Being wrong is the most painful way to learn. It results in unwanted consequences, rejection and failure. So, how do you avoid, or decrease your chances of being wrong?

You can avoid taking risks all together but that’s really no way to live…

In a world thats changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk. — Peter Thiel

You can also increase your probability of making good decisions by gathering information through the mental model, triangulation.

What is triangulation?

Triangulation is the process of gathering and validating information from two or more sources. …


Spies have to think better than everyone. The consequences of their thinking results in war, death, injury, torture, prison and chaos. They’re always prepared for the worst. That’s why it’s smart to think like a spy.

DADA loop is one of the most popular ways of thinking like a spy. DADA stands for data, analysis, decision and action. The model is a remix of the famous military strategist, John Boyd’s OODA Loop.

Gathering data → feeds into analysis → which feeds into decision → which feeds into an action. — John Braddock

The DADA Loop

NPR’s Planet Money recently interviewed former CIA spy…


We look like people who have found a trick. It’s not brilliance. It’s just avoiding stupidity. — Charlie Munger

Inversion

Inversion is a cheat code for life. You can use inversion in finance, relationships, health, product development and so much more. Charlie Munger and many other world leaders use it to look brilliant by avoiding stupidity.

Forward
We typically think about and solve problems in a forward way.

Examples…
How do I have a good life?
How do I get out of debt?
How do I have a great relationship/marriage?
How do I lose weight?
How do I meditate?
How to get rich off investing?
How do I make cool products?

It is not enough to think about difficult problems…


Deciding what to wear in the morning is the equivalent of searching for your lost phone, keys and wallet every single day. What shirt should I put on? Does this make sense with these pants? Oh no, these pants are dirty. Back to the drawing board.

Daily clothes cost us energy, time, money and high levels of pollution. Why do smart, busy people put up with this every day?

Here are a five reasons why I think the future of apparel will look more like a uniform.

1. Clothes create decision fatigue.

Decisions make up your entire day. Your ability to make the best decision…

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