Balancing Work and Life

These are some of my notes from a podcast which I listened to from Peter Attia and Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp. It’s been embroiled in some controversy in recent times, but I thought that the take-aways still applied to my life, and so I thought I would share.

  1. Children do dumb things when they are young. Showing them that there is a path for exploration to do the things that they like is critical to show them that there is a choice in life.
  2. It’s a terrible idea in business to lose money from the get-go. This is fairly obvious, however, you don’t see it in Silicon Valley today. Everyone thinks that they’re the next Amazon, but didn’t see the 99 Amazons that didn’t make it. Be a profitable company. Don’t waste revenue-generating activity. Don’t lose money from the get go. Use the principles of micro-economics to build a better company.
  3. There is often a discrepancy on what people’s perceived value and actual value. For example, Amazon is unique because it is a retailer attached to a web company (AWS). Icebergs don’t show most of their mass. Constantly ask yourself what you are missing.
  4. Everyone should learn how to write. Jason, if he was going to give an assignment, would give a writing assignment of writing a 5-, 4-, 3-, 2-, 1-page paper and 3-paragraph version saying the same thing. The hard part about writing isn’t only doing the writing, it’s being clear and succinct. Furthermore, transparency when running a company should be paramount. Don’t lie to your employees.
  5. When you are starting a business, don’t ask the successful ones which have been doing it for some time. Advice should come from someone is on the ground because they have done it recently and understand the market conditions. Business success is understanding the current market, not the ones of the past.
  6. Teams should be only 3 people (no ties) and features should only take 6 weeks to make. It’s not the fact that we don’t have enough time to do the increasing amount of work, but our attention has been dragged in multiple directions and that we do not understand how much our attention is fragmented.

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