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Issue #17 // February 28, 2020
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“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff
#READING
23 rules to run a software startup with minimum hassle (7 min read)
//joisig
Summary: Software startups are hard, even with the bountiful amount of information out there. These rules primarily apply to bootstrapped companies
  • Recurring revenue is the way to go
  • Outsource billing
  • Choose simple, boring technology
  • Don't take investors
  • Don’t use every marketing channel

In 40 tweets I will describe 40 powerful concepts for understanding the world. Some are complex so forgive me for oversimplifying, but the main purpose is to incite curiosity (20 min read)
//twitter
Summary: There are so many fun concepts and mental models out there that explain the world. Some of my favorites from this tweetstorm are below:
  • Cumulative Error: Mistakes grow. Beliefs are built on beliefs, so one wrong thought can snowball into a delusional worldview.
  • Focusing Illusion: Nothing is ever as important as what you’re thinking about while you’re thinking about it.
  • Concept Creep: As a social issue such as racism or sexual harassment becomes rarer, people react by expanding their definition of it, creating the illusion that the issue is actually getting worse.
  • Pluralistic Ignorance:  Phenomenon where a group goes along with a norm, even though all of the group members secretly hate it, because each mistakenly believes that the others approve of it.
  • Woozle Effect: An article makes a claim without evidence, is then cited by another, which is cited by another, and so on, until the range of citations creates the impression that the claim has evidence, when really all articles are citing the same uncorroborated source.
  • Pareto Principle: Pattern of nature in which ~80% of effects result from ~20% of causes
  • Halo Effect: When a person sees an agreeable characteristic in something or someone, they assume other agreeable characteristics.
  • Goodhart’s Law: When a measure becomes a goal, it ceases to become a measure. E.g. British colonialists tried to control snakes in India. They measured progress by number of snakes killed, offering money for snake corpses. People responded by breeding snakes & killing them.
  • Shifting Baseline Syndrome: Frog says to Fish, “how’s the water?” Fish replies, “what’s water?” We become blind to what we’re familiar with. And since the world is always changing, and we're always getting used to it, we can even become blind to the slow march of catastrophe.

Why Some People Get Burned Out and Others Don't (7 min read)
//hbr
Summary: Stress and burnout are not the same thing. The key to avoid burnout is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence supports superior coping abilities and helps people prevent burnout and deal with chronic stress. Emotional self awareness may be on of the most important components in dealing with frustration and anxiety. Don't be the source of your stress; most of us create our own stresses which become an endless cycle.

Personally, I used to have rather poor emotional intelligence, I had trouble controlling my anger and I did a lot of reflecting to get into a place where I could reasonable manage it. Stress and burnout are just like this, but it takes on a different form.

I recommend the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman if you haven't read it and are interested in tapping into your EQ.

Being a Noob (2 min read)
//paulgraham
Summary: Learn to become a forever-noob
I remember when I first learned the word "noob", I was in elementary school and played a game called Warcraft III and everyone called me a noob when I played online. I felt disappointed, I didn't want to be a noob. But it is good to be a noob, it means you're always experiencing something new, putting yourself in discomfort--that is how we grow. Always be a noob.
 
#PODCASTS
The Random Show — New Year’s Resolutions, 2010-2019 Lessons Learned, Finding Joy, Energy Management, and Much More
//thetimferrissshow
Listen to this podcast
  • Polarity in masculine/feminine traits is critical for a relationship’s success, particularly in the bedroom 
  • It’s essential to have regularly scheduled times to discuss relationship issues with your romantic partner
  • Never be afraid to admit you don’t know something
  • Time management is important, but time management doesn’t matter unless you have attention management
  • In what areas of my life can I make one decision that removes hundreds or thousands of potential future decisions?
  • Less - App for Tracking Alcohol Consumption
#RANDOM
12 Signs You're Working in a Feature Factory
//cutle.fish

An Ode to Cold Showers
//theatlantic

I stumbled across a huge Airbnb scam that’s taking over London
//wired

Fail Productively... how to turn yourself into a super-learner
//theguardian

How To Actually Concentrate
//nylon

Cold Hard Truths About The Workplace I Learned The Hard Way
//dariusforoux

Why do incompetent managers get promoted?
//betterprogramming

When Working From Home Doesn’t Work
//theatlantic
#THOUGHTS
Personal Principles
  • I read Ray Dalio's Principles a couple of years back, but I recently just started to come up with a list of my own. I'm adding it to my "Erik Operating Guide" (based on this) and I'll share it back when I finish it!
Fantasy List
  • The idea of a fantasy seems childish, but in reality, it unbounds your mind, let's you explore and allows you to achieve more. The output is a Fantasy List, which is essentially unrealistic goals (a cardinal sin of SMART goals). Based off of this podcast by Noah Kagan.
Random Call Saturday
  • It is always a bit tough to keep in contact with friends outside of the Bay Area, and I've been trying to be better about creating my own personal PRM (Personal Relationship Manager) in Omnifocus, but even then, scheduling is tough. My plan is to start randomly calling people I've been thinking about on Saturdays (expect a call from me, or better yet, give me a call)
Extended Time Off
  • If you had 6 months off, what would you do?
    • Where would you go?
    • What 'certifications' would you get?
    • What new people would you meet?
    • What would you want to accomplish?
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