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David G Chen

David G Chen

1 year ago

If you want to earn money, stop writing for entertainment.

More on Productivity

Maria Stepanova

Maria Stepanova

1 year ago

How Elon Musk Picks Things Up Quicker Than Anyone Else

Adopt Elon Musk's learning strategy to succeed.

Photo by Cody Board on Unsplash

Medium writers rank first and second when you Google “Elon Musk's learning approach”.

My article idea seems unoriginal. Lol

Musk is brilliant.

No doubt here.

His name connotes success and intelligence.

He knows rocket science, engineering, AI, and solar power.

Musk is a Unicorn, but his skills aren't special.

How does he manage it?

Elon Musk has two learning rules that anyone may use.

You can apply these rules and become anyone you want.

You can become a rocket scientist or a surgeon. If you want, of course.

The learning process is key.

Make sure you are creating a Tree of Knowledge according to Rule #1.

Musk told Reddit how he learns:

“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.”

Musk understands the essential ideas and mental models of each of his business sectors.

He starts with the tree's trunk, making sure he learns the basics before going on to branches and leaves.

We often act otherwise. We memorize small details without understanding how they relate to the whole. Our minds are stuffed with useless data.

Cramming isn't learning.

Start with the basics to learn faster. Before diving into minutiae, grasp the big picture.

Photo by niko photos on Unsplash

Rule #2: You can't connect what you can't remember.

Elon Musk transformed industries this way. As his expertise grew, he connected branches and leaves from different trees.

Musk read two books a day as a child. He didn't specialize like most people. He gained from his multidisciplinary education. It helped him stand out and develop billion-dollar firms.

He gained skills in several domains and began connecting them. World-class performances resulted.

Most of us never learn the basics and only collect knowledge. We never really comprehend information, thus it's hard to apply it.

Learn the basics initially to maximize your chances of success. Then start learning.

Learn across fields and connect them.

This method enabled Elon Musk to enter and revolutionize a century-old industry.

Alex Mathers

Alex Mathers

1 year ago

8 guidelines to help you achieve your objectives 5x fast

Follow Alex’s Instagram for more of his drawings and bonus ideas.

If you waste time every day, even though you're ambitious, you're not alone.

Many of us could use some new time-management strategies, like these:

Focus on the following three.

You're thinking about everything at once.

You're overpowered.

It's mental. We just have what's in front of us. So savor the moment's beauty.

Prioritize 1-3 things.

To be one of the most productive people you and I know, follow these steps.

Get along with boredom.

Many of us grow bored, sweat, and turn on Netflix.

We shout, "I'm rarely bored!" Look at me! I'm happy.

Shut it, Sally.

You're not making wonderful things for the world. Boredom matters.

If you can sit with it for a second, you'll get insight. Boredom? Breathe.

Go blank.

Then watch your creativity grow.

Check your MacroVision once more.

We don't know what to do with our time, which contributes to time-wasting.

Nobody does, either. Jeff Bezos won't hand-deliver that crap to you.

Daily vision checks are required.

Also:

What are 5 things you'd love to create in the next 5 years?

You're soul-searching. It's food.

Return here regularly, and you'll adore the high you get from doing valuable work.

Improve your thinking.

What's Alex's latest nonsense?

I'm talking about overcoming our own thoughts. Worrying wastes so much time.

Too many of us are assaulted by lies, myths, and insecurity.

Stop letting your worries massage you into a worried coma like a Thai woman.

Optimizing your thoughts requires accepting what you can't control.

It means letting go of unhelpful thoughts and returning to the moment.

Keep your blood sugar level.

I gave up gluten, donuts, and sweets.

This has really boosted my energy.

Blood-sugar-spiking carbs make us irritable and tired.

These day-to-day ups and downs aren't productive. It's crucial.

Know how your diet affects insulin levels. Now I have more energy and can do more without clenching my teeth.

Reduce harmful carbs to boost energy.

Create a focused setting for yourself.

When we optimize the mind, we have more energy and use our time better because we're not tense.

Changing our environment can also help us focus. Disabling alerts is one example.

Too hot makes me procrastinate and irritable.

List five items that hinder your productivity.

You may be amazed at how much you may improve by removing distractions.

Be responsible.

Accountability is a time-saver.

Creating an emotional pull to finish things.

Writing down our goals makes us accountable.

We can engage a coach or work with an accountability partner to feel horrible if we don't show up and finish on time.

Hey Jake, I’m going to write 1000 words every day for 30 days — you need to make sure I do.’ ‘Sure thing, Nathan, I’ll be making sure you check in daily with me.’

Tick.

You might also blog about your ambitions to show your dedication.

Now you can't hide when you promised to appear.

Acquire a liking for bravery.

Boldness changes everything.

I sometimes feel lazy and wonder why. If my food and sleep are in order, I should assess my footing.

Most of us live backward. Doubtful. Uncertain. Feelings govern us.

Backfooting isn't living. It's lame, and you'll soon melt. Live boldly now.

Be assertive.

Get disgustingly into everything. Expand.

Even if it's hard, stop being a b*tch.

Those that make Mr. Bold Bear their spirit animal benefit. Save time to maximize your effect.

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

1 year ago

My Top 11 Tools For Building A Modern Startup, With A Free Plan

The best free tools are probably unknown to you.

Webflow

Modern startups are easy to build.

Start with free tools.

Let’s go.

Web development — Webflow

Code-free HTML, CSS, and JS.

Webflow isn't like Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify.

It's a super-fast no-code tool for professionals to construct complex, highly-responsive websites and landing pages.

Webflow can help you add animations like those on Apple's website to your own site.

I made the jump from WordPress a few years ago and it changed my life.

No damn plugins. No damn errors. No damn updates.

The best, you can get started on Webflow for free.

Data tracking — Airtable

Spreadsheet wings.

Airtable combines spreadsheet flexibility with database power without code.

  • Airtable is modern.

  • Airtable has modularity.

  • Scaling Airtable is simple.

Airtable, one of the most adaptable solutions on this list, is perfect for client data management.

Clients choose customized service packages. Airtable consolidates data so you can automate procedures like invoice management and focus on your strengths.

Airtable connects with so many tools that rarely creates headaches. Airtable scales when you do.

Airtable's flexibility makes it a potential backend database.

Design — Figma

Better, faster, easier user interface design.

Figma rocks!

  • It’s fast.

  • It's free.

  • It's adaptable

First, design in Figma.

Iterate.

Export development assets.

Figma lets you add more team members as your company grows to work on each iteration simultaneously.

Figma is web-based, so you don't need a powerful PC or Mac to start.

Task management — Trello

Unclock jobs.

Tacky and terrifying task management products abound. Trello isn’t.

Those that follow Marie Kondo will appreciate Trello.

  • Everything is clean.

  • Nothing is complicated.

  • Everything has a place.

Compared to other task management solutions, Trello is limited. And that’s good. Too many buttons lead to too many decisions lead to too many hours wasted.

Trello is a must for teamwork.

Domain email — Zoho

Free domain email hosting.

Professional email is essential for startups. People relied on monthly payments for too long. Nope.

Zoho offers 5 free professional emails.

It doesn't have Google's UI, but it works.

VPN — Proton VPN

Fast Swiss VPN protects your data and privacy.

Proton VPN is secure.

  • Proton doesn't record any data.

  • Proton is based in Switzerland.

Swiss privacy regulation is among the most strict in the world, therefore user data are protected. Switzerland isn't a 14 eye country.

Journalists and activists trust Proton to secure their identities while accessing and sharing information authoritarian governments don't want them to access.

Web host — Netlify

Free fast web hosting.

Netlify is a scalable platform that combines your favorite tools and APIs to develop high-performance sites, stores, and apps through GitHub.

Serverless functions and environment variables preserve API keys.

Netlify's free tier is unmissable.

  • 100GB of free monthly bandwidth.

  • Free 125k serverless operations per website each month.

Database — MongoDB

Create a fast, scalable database.

MongoDB is for small and large databases. It's a fast and inexpensive database.

  • Free for the first million reads.

  • Then, for each million reads, you must pay $0.10.

MongoDB's free plan has:

  • Encryption from end to end

  • Continual authentication

  • field-level client-side encryption

If you have a large database, you can easily connect MongoDB to Webflow to bypass CMS limits.

Automation — Zapier

Time-saving tip: automate repetitive chores.

Zapier simplifies life.

Zapier syncs and connects your favorite apps to do impossibly awesome things.

If your online store is connected to Zapier, a customer's purchase can trigger a number of automated actions, such as:

  1. The customer is being added to an email chain.

  2. Put the information in your Airtable.

  3. Send a pre-programmed postcard to the customer.

  4. Alexa, set the color of your smart lights to purple.

Zapier scales when you do.

Email & SMS marketing — Omnisend

Email and SMS marketing campaigns.

Omnisend

This is an excellent Mailchimp option for magical emails. Omnisend's processes simplify email automation.

I love the interface's cleanliness.

Omnisend's free tier includes web push notifications.

Send up to:

  • 500 emails per month

  • 60 maximum SMSs

  • 500 Web Push Maximum

Forms and surveys — Tally

Create flexible forms that people enjoy.

Typeform is clean but restricting. Sometimes you need to add many questions. Tally's needed sometimes.

Tally is flexible and cheaper than Typeform.

99% of Tally's features are free and unrestricted, including:

  • Unlimited forms

  • Countless submissions

  • Collect payments

  • File upload

Tally lets you examine what individuals contributed to forms before submitting them to see where they get stuck.

Airtable and Zapier connectors automate things further. If you pay, you can apply custom CSS to fit your brand.

See.

Free tools are the greatest.

Let's use them to launch a startup.

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JEFF JOHN ROBERTS

1 year ago

What just happened in cryptocurrency? A plain-English Q&A about Binance's FTX takedown.

Crypto people have witnessed things. They've seen big hacks, mind-boggling swindles, and amazing successes. They've never seen a day like Tuesday, when the world's largest crypto exchange murdered its closest competition.

Here's a primer on Binance and FTX's lunacy and why it matters if you're new to crypto.

What happened?

CZ, a shrewd Chinese-Canadian billionaire, runs Binance. FTX, a newcomer, has challenged Binance in recent years. SBF (Sam Bankman-Fried)—a young American with wild hair—founded FTX (initials are a thing in crypto).

Last weekend, CZ complained about SBF's lobbying and then exploited Binance's market power to attack his competition.

How did CZ do that?

CZ invested in SBF's new cryptocurrency exchange when they were friends. CZ sold his investment in FTX for FTT when he no longer wanted it. FTX clients utilize those tokens to get trade discounts, although they are less liquid than Bitcoin.

SBF made a mistake by providing CZ just too many FTT tokens, giving him control over FTX. It's like Pepsi handing Coca-Cola a lot of stock it could sell at any time. CZ got upset with SBF and flooded the market with FTT tokens.

SBF owns a trading fund with many FTT tokens, therefore this was catastrophic. SBF sought to defend FTT's worth by selling other assets to buy up the FTT tokens flooding the market, but it didn't succeed, and as FTT's value plummeted, his liabilities exceeded his assets. By Tuesday, his companies were insolvent, so he sold them to his competition.

Crazy. How could CZ do that?

CZ likely did this to crush a rising competition. It was also personal. In recent months, regulators have been tough toward the crypto business, and Binance and FTX have been trying to stay on their good side. CZ believed SBF was poisoning U.S. authorities by saying CZ was linked to China, so CZ took retribution.

“We supported previously, but we won't pretend to make love after divorce. We're neutral. But we won't assist people that push against other industry players behind their backs," CZ stated in a tragic tweet on Sunday. He crushed his rival's company two days later.

So does Binance now own FTX?

No. Not yet. CZ has only stated that Binance signed a "letter of intent" to acquire FTX. CZ and SBF say Binance will protect FTX consumers' funds.

Who’s to blame?

You could blame CZ for using his control over FTX to destroy it. SBF is also being criticized for not disclosing the full overlap between FTX and his trading company, which controlled plenty of FTT. If he had been upfront, someone might have warned FTX about this vulnerability earlier, preventing this mess.

Others have alleged that SBF utilized customer monies to patch flaws in his enterprises' balance accounts. That happened to multiple crypto startups that collapsed this spring, which is unfortunate. These are allegations, not proof.

Why does this matter? Isn't this common in crypto?

Crypto is notorious for shady executives and pranks. FTX is the second-largest crypto business, and SBF was largely considered as the industry's golden boy who would help it get on authorities' good side. Thus far.

Does this affect cryptocurrency prices?

Short-term, it's bad. Prices fell on suspicions that FTX was in peril, then rallied when Binance rescued it, only to fall again later on Tuesday.

These occurrences have hurt FTT and SBF's Solana token. It appears like a huge token selloff is affecting the rest of the market. Bitcoin fell 10% and Ethereum 15%, which is bad but not catastrophic for the two largest coins by market cap.

Tom Connor

Tom Connor

1 year ago

12 mental models that I use frequently

https://tomconnor.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/10x-Engineer-Mental-Models.pdf

https://tomconnor.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/10x-Engineer-Mental-Models.pdf

I keep returning to the same mental models and tricks after writing and reading about a wide range of topics.

Top 12 mental models

12.

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.

Bullet hole density of returning planes — A strike anywhere else was fatal…

11.

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.

10.

Until it sticks… Turning up every day… — Artists teach engineers plenty. Quality work over a career comes from showing up every day and starting.

Austin Kleon

9.

WRAP decision making process (Heath Brothers)

Decision-making WRAP Model:

W — Widen your Options

R — Reality test your assumptions

A — Attain Distance

P — Prepare to be wrong or Right

8.

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:

  1. Focus: Keep the start in mind as you wrap up.

  2. Relationships: close a loop that's open.

  3. Pruning is an energy.

  4. Set aside time to be inspired by stimuli.

  5. Hours: Spend time thinking.

7.

Black Box 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?

6.

The OODA Loop - Competitive advantage

OODA LOOP

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.

5.

Know your Domain 

Leaders who try to impose order in a complex situation fail; those who set the stage, step back, and allow patterns to develop win.

https://vimeo.com/640941172?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=11999906

4.

The Three Critical Gaps

  • 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

Adapted from Stephen Bungay

3.

Theory of Constraints — The Goal  - To maximize system production, maximize bottleneck throughput.

  • Goldratt creates a five-step procedure:

  1. Determine the restriction

  2. Improve the restriction.

  3. Everything else should be based on the limitation.

  4. Increase the restriction

  5. Go back to step 1 Avoid letting inertia become a limitation.

Any non-constraint improvement is an illusion.

2.

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.

1.

Boundaries of failure - Rasmussen's accident model.

Rasmussen’s System 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.

Emma Jade

Emma Jade

1 year ago

6 hacks to create content faster

Content gurus' top time-saving hacks.

6 hacks to create content faster

I'm a content strategist, writer, and graphic designer. Time is more valuable than money.

Money is always available. Even if you're poor. Ways exist.

Time is passing, and one day we'll run out.

Sorry to be morbid.

In today's digital age, you need to optimize how you create content for your organization. Here are six content creation hacks.

1. Use templates

Use templates to streamline your work whether generating video, images, or documents.

Setup can take hours. Using a free resource like Canva, you can create templates for any type of material.

This will save you hours each month.

2. Make a content calendar

You post without a plan? A content calendar solves 50% of these problems.

You can prepare, organize, and plan your material ahead of time so you're not scrambling when you remember, "Shit, it's Mother's Day!"

3. Content Batching

Batching content means creating a lot in one session. This is helpful for video content that requires a lot of setup time.

Batching monthly content saves hours. Time is a valuable resource.

When working on one type of task, it's easy to get into a flow state. This saves time.

4. Write Caption

On social media, we generally choose the image first and then the caption. Writing captions first sometimes work better, though.

Writing the captions first can allow you more creative flexibility and be easier if you're not excellent with language.

Say you want to tell your followers something interesting.

Writing a caption first is easier than choosing an image and then writing a caption to match.

Not everything works. You may have already-created content that needs captioning. When you don't know what to share, think of a concept, write the description, and then produce a video or graphic.

Cats can be skinned in several ways..

5. Repurpose

Reuse content when possible. You don't always require new stuff. In fact, you’re pretty stupid if you do #SorryNotSorry.

Repurpose old content. All those blog entries, videos, and unfinished content on your desk or hard drive.

This blog post can be turned into a social media infographic. Canva's motion graphic function can animate it. I can record a YouTube video regarding this issue for a podcast. I can make a post on each point in this blog post and turn it into an eBook or paid course.

And it doesn’t stop there.

My point is, to think outside the box and really dig deep into ways you can leverage the content you’ve already created.

6. Schedule Them

If you're still manually posting content, get help. When you batch your content, schedule it ahead of time.

Some scheduling apps are free or cheap. No excuses.

Don't publish and ghost.

Scheduling saves time by preventing you from doing it manually. But if you never engage with your audience, the algorithm won't reward your material.

Be online and engage your audience.

Content Machine

Use these six content creation hacks. They help you succeed and save time.