“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”
“You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback, particularly from friends.”
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
“It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.”
“People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”
“People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”
“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”
“There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.”
What could you make with these three things?
Imagine you have three things:
A motorboat with a skier behind it
A military tank
Now, let’s break these items down into their constituent parts:
Motorboat: motor, the hull of a boat, and a pair of skis.
Tank: metal treads, steel armor plates, and a gun.
Bicycle: handlebars, wheels, gears, and a seat.
What can you create from these individual parts? One option is to make a snowmobile by combining the handlebars and seat from the bike, the metal treads from the tank, and the motor and skis from the boat.
This is the process of first principles thinking in a nutshell. It is a cycle of breaking a situation down into the core pieces and then putting them all back together in a more effective way. Deconstruct then reconstruct.
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