More on Personal Growth
19 days ago
12 mental models that I use frequently
I keep returning to the same mental models and tricks after writing and reading about a wide range of topics.
Top 12 mental models
Survival bias - We perceive the surviving population as remarkable, yet they may have gotten there through sheer grit.
Survivorship bias affects us in many situations. Our retirement fund; the unicorn business; the winning team. We often study and imitate the last one standing. This can lead to genuine insights and performance improvements, but it can also lead us astray because the leader may just be lucky.
The Helsinki Bus Theory - How to persevere Buss up!
Always display new work, and always be compared to others. Why? Easy. Keep riding. Stay on the fucking bus.
Until it sticks… Turning up every day… — Artists teach engineers plenty. Quality work over a career comes from showing up every day and starting.
Decision-making WRAP Model:
W — Widen your Options
R — Reality test your assumptions
A — Attain Distance
P — Prepare to be wrong or Right
Systems for knowledge worker excellence - Todd Henry and Cal Newport write about techniques knowledge workers can employ to build a creative rhythm and do better work.
Todd Henry's FRESH framework:
Focus: Keep the start in mind as you wrap up.
Relationships: close a loop that's open.
Pruning is an energy.
Set aside time to be inspired by stimuli.
Hours: Spend time thinking.
BBT is learning from mistakes. Science has transformed the world because it constantly updates its theories in light of failures. Complexity guarantees failure. Do we learn or self-justify?
The OODA Loop - Competitive advantage
O: Observe: collect the data. Figure out exactly where you are, what’s happening.
O: Orient: analyze/synthesize the data to form an accurate picture.
D: Decide: select an action from possible options
A: Action: execute the action, and return to step (1)
Boyd's approach indicates that speed and agility are about information processing, not physical reactions. They form feedback loops. More OODA loops improve speed.
Leaders who try to impose order in a complex situation fail; those who set the stage, step back, and allow patterns to develop win.
Information Gap - The discrepancy between what we know and what we would like to know
Gap in Alignment - What individuals actually do as opposed to what we wish them to do
Effects Gap - the discrepancy between our expectations and the results of our actions
Theory of Constraints — The Goal - To maximize system production, maximize bottleneck throughput.
Goldratt creates a five-step procedure:
Determine the restriction
Improve the restriction.
Everything else should be based on the limitation.
Increase the restriction
Go back to step 1 Avoid letting inertia become a limitation.
Any non-constraint improvement is an illusion.
Serendipity and the Adjacent Possible - Why do several amazing ideas emerge at once? How can you foster serendipity in your work?
You need specialized abilities to reach to the edge of possibilities, where you can pursue exciting tasks that will change the world. Few people do it since it takes a lot of hard work. You'll stand out if you do.
Most people simply lack the comfort with discomfort required to tackle really hard things. At some point, in other words, there’s no way getting around the necessity to clear your calendar, shut down your phone, and spend several hard days trying to make sense of the damn proof.
Boundaries of failure - Rasmussen's accident model.
Rasmussen modeled this. It has economic, workload, and performance boundaries.
The economic boundary is a company's profit zone. If the lights are on, you're within the economic boundaries, but there's pressure to cut costs and do more.
Performance limit reflects system capacity. Taking shortcuts is a human desire to minimize work. This is often necessary to survive because there's always more labor.
Both push operating points toward acceptable performance. Personal or process safety, or equipment performance.
If you exceed acceptable performance, you'll push back, typically forcefully.
3 months ago
The best financial advice I've ever received and how you can use it.
Taking great financial advice is key to financial success.
A wealthy man told me to INVEST MY MONEY when I was young.
As I entered Starbucks, an older man was leaving. I noticed his watch and expensive-looking shirt, not like the guy in the photo, but one made of fine fabric like vicuna wool, which can only be shorn every two to three years. His Bentley confirmed my suspicions about his wealth.
This guy looked like James Bond, so I asked him how to get rich like him.
"Drug dealer?" he laughed.
Whether he was telling the truth, I'll never know, and I didn't want to be an accessory, but he quickly added, "Kid, invest your money; it will do wonders." He left.
When he told me to invest, he didn't say what. Later, I realized the investment game has so many levels that even if he drew me a blueprint, I wouldn't understand it.
The best advice I received was to invest my earnings. I must decide where to invest.
I'll preface by saying I'm not a financial advisor or Your financial advisor, but I'll share what I've learned from books, links, and sources. The rest is up to you.
Invest your Money
Money is money, whether you call it cake, dough, moolah, benjamins, paper, bread, etc.
If you're lucky, you can buy one of the gold shirts in the photo.
Investing your money today means putting it towards anything that could be profitable.
According to the website Investopedia:
“Investing is allocating money to generate income or profit.”
You can invest in a business, real estate, or a skill that will pay off later.
Everyone has different goals and wants at different stages of life, so investing varies.
He was probably a sugar daddy with his Bentley, nice shirt, and Rolex.
In my twenties, I started making "good" money; now, in my forties, with a family and three kids, I'm building a legacy for my grandkids.
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” — Robert Kiyosaki.
Money isn't evil, but lack of it is.
Financial stress is a major source of problems, according to studies.
Being broke hurts, especially if you want to provide for your family or do things.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin.
Investing in knowledge is invaluable. Before investing, do your homework.
You probably didn't learn about investing when you were young, like I didn't. My parents were in survival mode, making investing difficult.
In my 20s, I worked in banking to better understand money.
So, why invest?
Growth requires investment.
Investing puts money to work and can build wealth. Your money may outpace inflation with smart investing. Compounding and the risk-return tradeoff boost investment growth.
Investing your money means you won't have to work forever — unless you want to.
Two common ways to make money are;
-interest or capital gains from investments.
Capital gains can help you invest.
“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” — Robert G. Allen
If you keep your money in a savings account, you'll earn less than 2% interest at best; the bank makes money by loaning it out.
Savings accounts are a safe bet, but the low-interest rates limit your gains.
Don't skip it. An emergency fund should be in a savings account, not the market.
Other reasons to invest:
Investing can generate regular income.
If you own rental properties, the tenant's rent will add to your cash flow.
Daily, weekly, or monthly rentals (think Airbnb) generate higher returns year-round.
Capital gains are taxed less than earned income if you own dividend-paying or appreciating stock.
Time is on your side
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t — pays it.” — Albert Einstein
Historical data shows that young investors outperform older investors. So you can use compound interest over decades instead of investing at 45 and having less time to earn.
If I had taken that man's advice and invested in my twenties, I would have made a decent return by my thirties. (Depending on my investments)
So for those who live a YOLO (you only live once) life, investing can't hurt.
Investing increases your knowledge.
Lessons are clearer when you're invested. Each win boosts confidence and draws attention to losses. Losing money prompts you to investigate.
Before investing, I read many financial books, but I didn't understand them until I invested.
What do you invest in? Equities, mutual funds, ETFs, retirement accounts, savings, business, real estate, cryptocurrencies, marijuana, insurance, etc.
The key is to start somewhere. Know you don't know everything. You must care.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu.
Start simple because there's so much information. My first investment book was:
Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"
This easy-to-read book made me hungry for more. This book is about the money lessons rich parents teach their children, which poor and middle-class parents neglect. The poor and middle-class work for money, while the rich let their assets work for them, says Kiyosaki.
There is so much to learn, but you gotta start somewhere.
I hope I'm not suggesting that investing makes everything rosy. Remember three rules:
1. Losing money is possible.
2. Losing money is possible.
3. Losing money is possible.
You can lose money, so be careful.
Read, research, invest.
Golden rules for Investing your money
Never invest money you can't lose.
Financial freedom is possible regardless of income.
"Courage taught me that any sound investment will pay off, no matter how bad a crisis gets." Helu Carlos
"I'll tell you Wall Street's secret to wealth. When others are afraid, you're greedy. You're afraid when others are greedy. Buffett
Buy low, sell high, and have an exit strategy.
Ask experts or wealthy people for advice.
"With a good understanding of history, we can have a clear vision of the future." Helu Carlos
"It's not whether you're right or wrong, but how much money you make when you're right." Soros
"The individual investor should act as an investor, not a speculator." Graham
"It's different this time" is the most dangerous investment phrase. Templeton
Avoid quick-money schemes. Building wealth takes years, not months.
Start small and work your way up.
Thanks for reading!
This post is a summary. Read the full article here
1 month ago
In 2022, each data scientist needs to read these 11 books.
Non-technical talents can benefit data scientists in addition to statistics and programming.
As our article 5 Most In-Demand Skills for Data Scientists shows, being business-minded is useful. How can you get such a diverse skill set? We've compiled a list of helpful resources.
Data science, data analysis, programming, and business are covered. Even a few of these books will make you a better data scientist.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Best books for data scientists
1. The Black Swan
Author: Nassim Taleb
First, a less obvious title. Nassim Nicholas Taleb's seminal series examines uncertainty, probability, risk, and decision-making.
Three characteristics define a black swan event:
It is erratic.
It has a significant impact.
Many times, people try to come up with an explanation that makes it seem more predictable than it actually was.
People formerly believed all swans were white because they'd never seen otherwise. A black swan in Australia shattered their belief.
Taleb uses this incident to illustrate how human thinking mistakes affect decision-making. The book teaches readers to be aware of unpredictability in the ever-changing IT business.
Try multiple tactics and models because you may find the answer.
2. High Output Management
Author: Andrew Grove
Intel's former chairman and CEO provides his insights on developing a global firm in this business book. We think Grove would choose “management” to describe the talent needed to start and run a business.
That's a skill for CEOs, techies, and data scientists. Grove writes on developing productive teams, motivation, real-life business scenarios, and revolutionizing work.
Every action is a procedure.
Meetings are a medium of work
Manage short-term goals in accordance with long-term strategies.
Mission-oriented teams accelerate while functional teams increase leverage.
Utilize performance evaluations to enhance output.
So — if the above captures your imagination, it’s well worth getting stuck in.
3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Author: Ben Horowitz
Few realize how difficult it is to run a business, even though many see it as a tremendous opportunity.
Business schools don't teach managers how to handle the toughest difficulties; they're usually on their own. So Ben Horowitz wrote this book.
It gives tips on creating and maintaining a new firm and analyzes the hurdles CEOs face.
Find suggestions on:
Run a business.
Promote a product
oversee daily operations
This book will help you cope with tough times.
4. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning
Author: April Dunford
Your job as a data scientist is a product. You should be able to sell what you do to clients. Even if your product is great, you must convince them.
How to? April Dunford's advice: Her book explains how to connect with customers by making your offering seem like a secret sauce.
Select the ideal market for your products.
Connect an audience to the value of your goods right away.
Take use of three positioning philosophies.
Utilize market trends to aid purchasers
5. The Mom test
Author: Rob Fitzpatrick
The Mom Test improves communication. Client conversations are rarely predictable. The book emphasizes one of the most important communication rules: enquire about specific prior behaviors.
Both ways work. If a client has suggestions or demands, listen carefully and ensure everyone understands. The book is packed with client-speaking tips.
6. Introduction to Machine Learning with Python: A Guide for Data Scientists
Authors: Andreas C. Müller, Sarah Guido
Now, technical documents.
This book is for Python-savvy data scientists who wish to learn machine learning. Authors explain how to use algorithms instead of math theory.
Their technique is ideal for developers who wish to study machine learning basics and use cases. Sci-kit-learn, NumPy, SciPy, pandas, and Jupyter Notebook are covered beyond Python.
If you know machine learning or artificial neural networks, skip this.
7. Python Data Science Handbook: Essential Tools for Working with Data
Author: Jake VanderPlas
Data work isn't easy. Data manipulation, transformation, cleansing, and visualization must be exact.
Python is a popular tool. The Python Data Science Handbook explains everything. The book describes how to utilize Pandas, Numpy, Matplotlib, Scikit-Learn, and Jupyter for beginners.
The only thing missing is a way to apply your learnings.
8. Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython
Author: Wes McKinney
The author leads you through manipulating, processing, cleaning, and analyzing Python datasets using NumPy, Pandas, and IPython.
The book's realistic case studies make it a great resource for Python or scientific computing beginners. Once accomplished, you'll uncover online analytics, finance, social science, and economics solutions.
9. Data Science from Scratch
Author: Joel Grus
Here's a title for data scientists with Python, stats, maths, and algebra skills (alongside a grasp of algorithms and machine learning). You'll learn data science's essential libraries, frameworks, modules, and toolkits.
The author works through all the key principles, providing you with the practical abilities to develop simple code. The book is appropriate for intermediate programmers interested in data science and machine learning.
Not that prior knowledge is required. The writing style matches all experience levels, but understanding will help you absorb more.
10. Machine Learning Yearning
Author: Andrew Ng
Andrew Ng is a machine learning expert. Co-founded and teaches at Stanford. This free book shows you how to structure an ML project, including recognizing mistakes and building in complex contexts.
The book delivers knowledge and teaches how to apply it, so you'll know how to:
Determine the optimal course of action for your ML project.
Create software that is more effective than people.
Recognize when to use end-to-end, transfer, and multi-task learning, and how to do so.
Identifying machine learning system flaws
Ng writes easy-to-read books. No rigorous math theory; just a terrific approach to understanding how to make technical machine learning decisions.
11. Deep Learning with PyTorch Step-by-Step
Author: Daniel Voigt Godoy
The last title is also the most recent. The book was revised on 23 January 2022 to discuss Deep Learning and PyTorch, a Python coding tool.
It comprises four parts:
Fundamentals (gradient descent, training linear and logistic regressions in PyTorch)
Machine Learning (deeper models and activation functions, convolutions, transfer learning, initialization schemes)
Sequences (RNN, GRU, LSTM, seq2seq models, attention, self-attention, transformers)
Automatic Language Recognition (tokenization, embeddings, contextual word embeddings, ELMo, BERT, GPT-2)
We admire the book's readability. The author avoids difficult mathematical concepts, making the material feel like a conversation.
Is every data scientist a humanist?
Even as a technological professional, you can't escape human interaction, especially with clients.
We hope these books will help you develop interpersonal skills.
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1 month ago
Trends in SaaS Funding from 2016 to 2022
Unsurprisingly, round sizes have expanded and will taper down in 2022. In 2016, pre-seed rounds were $200k to $500k; currently, they're $1-$2m. Despite the macroeconomic scenario, Series A have expanded from $3m to $12m in 2016 to $6m and $18m in 2022.
There are hints that valuations are rebounding this year. Pre-seed valuations in 2022 are $12m from $3m in 2016, and Series B prices are $270m from $100m in 2016.
Compared to public SaaS multiples, Series B valuations more closely reflect the market, but Seed and Series A prices seem to be inflated regardless of the market.
I'd like to know how each annual cohort performed for investors, based on the year they invested and the valuations. I can't access this information.
Seed firms' ARR forecasts have risen from $0 to $0.6m to $0 to $1m. 2016 expected $1.2m to $3m, 2021 $0.5m to $4m, and this year $0.5m to $2.5m, suggesting that Series A firms may raise with less ARR today. Series B minutes fell from $4.2m to $3m.
2022 is the year that VCs start discussing capital efficiency in portfolio meetings. Given the economic shift in the markets and the stealthy VC meltdown, it's not surprising. Christopher Janz added capital efficiency to the SaaS Napkin as a new statistic for Series A (3.5x) and Series B. (2.5x). Your investors must live under a rock if they haven't asked about capital efficiency. If you're unsure:
The Capital Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of how much a company has spent growing revenue and how much they’re receiving in return. It is the broadest measure of company effectiveness in generating ARR
No one knows what's next, including me. All startup and growing enterprises around me are tightening their belts and extending their runways in anticipation of a difficult fundraising ride. If you're wanting to raise money but can wait, wait till the market is more stable and access to money is easier.
1 month ago
Jack Dorsey's Meeting Best Practice was something I tried. It Performs Exceptionally Well in Consulting Engagements.
Yes, client meetings are difficult. Especially when I'm alone.
Clients must tell us their problems so we can help.
In-meeting challenges contribute nothing to our work. Consider this:
Clients are unprepared.
Clients are distracted.
Clients are confused.
Introducing Jack Dorsey's Google Doc approach
I endorse his approach to meetings.
Not Google Doc-related. Jack uses it for meetings.
This is what his meetings look like.
Prior to the meeting, the Chair creates the agenda, structure, and information using Google Doc.
Participants in the meeting would have 5-10 minutes to read the Google Doc.
They have 5-10 minutes to type their comments on the document.
In-depth discussion begins
There is elegance in simplicity. Here's how Jack's approach is fantastic.
Unprepared clients are given time to read.
During the meeting, they think and work on it.
They can see real-time remarks from others.
Three months ago, I fell for this strategy. After trying it with a client, I got good results.
I conducted social control experiments in a few client workshops.
I am sure Jack Dorsey’s method works well in meetings. What about client workshops?
So, I tested Enterprise of the Future with a consulting client.
I sent multiple emails to client stakeholders describing the new approach.
No PowerPoints that day. I spent the night setting up the Google Doc with conversation topics, critical thinking questions, and a Before and After section.
The client was shocked. First, a Google Doc was projected. Second surprise was a verbal feedback.
“No pre-meeting materials?”
“Don’t worry. I know you are not reading it before our meeting, anyway.”
We laughed. The experiment started.
Observations throughout a 90-minute engagement workshop from beginning to end
For 10 minutes, the workshop was silent.
People read the Google Doc. For some, the silence was unnerving.
“Are you not going to present anything to us?”
I said everything's in Google Doc. I asked them to read, remark, and add relevant paragraphs.
As they unlocked their laptops, they were annoyed.
Ten client stakeholders are typing on the Google Doc. My laptop displays comment bubbles, red lines, new paragraphs, and strikethroughs.
The first 10 minutes were productive. Everyone has seen and contributed to the document.
I was silent.
The move to a classical workshop was smooth. I didn't stimulate dialogue. They did.
Stephanie asked Joe why a blended workforce hinders company productivity. She questioned his comments and additional paragraphs.
That is when a light bulb hit my head. Yes, you want to speak to the right person to resolve issues!
Not only that was discussed. Others discussed their remark bubbles with neighbors. Debate circles sprung up one after the other.
The best part? I asked everyone to add their post-discussion thoughts on a Google Doc.
After the workshop, I have:
An agreement-based working document
A post-discussion minutes that are prepared for publication
A record of the discussion points that were brought up, argued, and evaluated critically
It showed me how stakeholders viewed their Enterprise of the Future. It allowed me to align with them.
Client meetings are a hit-or-miss. I know that.
Jack Dorsey's meeting strategy works for consulting. It promotes session alignment.
It relieves clients of preparation.
I get the necessary information to advance this consulting engagement.
It is brilliant.
David G Chen
1 month ago
If you want to earn money, stop writing for entertainment.
When you stop blogging for a few weeks, your views and profits plummet.
Because you're writing fascinating posts for others. Everyone's done ithat…
If I keep writing, the graph should maintain velocity, you could say. If I wrote more, it could rise.
However, entertaining pieces still tend to roller coaster and jump.
this type of writing is like a candle. They burn out and must be replaced. You must continuously light new ones to maintain the illumination.
When you quit writing, your income stops.
Instead of producing amusing articles, try solving people's issues. You should answer their search questions.
Here's what happens when you answer their searches.
My website's Google analytics. As a dentist, I answer oral health questions.
This chart vs. Medium is pretty glaring, right?
As of yesterday, it was averaging 15k page views each day.
How much would you make on Medium with 15k daily views?
In SEO, this is called evergreen content.
Your content is like a lush, evergreen forest, and by green I mean Benjamins.
Do you have knowledge that you can leverage? Why not help your neighbors and the world?
Answer search inquiries and help others. You'll be well rewarded.
This is better than crafting candle-like content that fizzles out quickly.
Is beauty really ephemeral like how flowers bloom? Nah, I prefer watching forests grow instead (: