Fire & Motion 22
The world as it is, and the world as it should be.
One of my favourite lines, and finally find its source.
The power to inspire is rare. Moments like this are rare. You think you may not be ready, that you'll do it at a more convenient time. But you don't choose the time. The time choose you. Either you seize what may turn out to be the only chance you have, or you decide you're willing to live with the knowledge that the chance has passed you by.
When the legendary Ted Kennedy said so to Obama in private, it wasn't hard to imagine the power and hopes that burdened on an African American senator.
"The thing about getting old, Bar," Toot had told me, "is that you're the same person inside." I remember her eyes studying me through her thick bifocals, as if to make sure I was paying attention. "You're trapped in the doggone contraption that starts falling apart. But it's still you. You understand?"
I try my best to look at the bright side of getting old, of having a throughout innocent heart during the journey.
You also want to be an exponential curve yourself—you should aim for your life to follow an ever-increasing up-and-to-the-right trajectory. It’s important to move towards a career that has a compounding effect—most careers progress fairly linearly.
Don't be in a career where people who have been doing it for two years can be as effective as people who have been doing it for twenty—the rate of learning should always be high. And I cannot help but thinking of my previous job.
Thinking from first principles and trying to generate new ideas is fun, and finding people to exchange them with is a great way to get better at this. The next step is to find easy, fast ways to test these ideas in the real world.
You have to figure out how to work hard without burning out. People find their own strategies for this, but one that almost always works is to find work you like doing with people you enjoy spending a lot of time with.
Hard work compounds like interest, and the earlier you do it, the more time you have for the benefits to pay off. Any method of relaxation and motivation should come from inner self, where they all mature over time.
An effective way to build a network is to help people as much as you can. Doing this, over a long period of time, is what lead to most of my best career opportunities and three of my four best investments. I’m continually surprised how often something good happens to me because of something I did to help a founder ten years ago.
Always bring a biscuit. Also having a reputation for pushing people hard enough that they accomplish more than they thought they could, but not so hard they burn out.
There's a famous sentence we often quote at Y Combinator: You make what you measure. Pick a number you want to grow and focus on that.
Making something people want and focusing on that, then you'll get growth as a result.
The opposite of courage isn't cowardice, the opposite of courage is conformity.
Accommodate mistakes, because the mistakes give it a rhythm. Try to balance between intentionality and un-intentionality, and never leave serendipity a chance. Referenced to the logo example in the talk, it isn't hard for me to recognize that most of the logos I encounter in real life falls into the trap of conformity.
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