Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo quotes on success

Building a portfolio of small bets. Quarter-time with Gumroad. Building userbase.com. Creator on dvassallo.gumroad.com. Ask me anything at daniel@hey.com.

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If you sell a subscription for $10/mo, and you add just 1 net new customer per day... After 5 years: - you'd have collected $547K. - you'd be doing $18K/month in revenue. Failing fast isn't the only option. You can also try to succeed slowly.


Many people think they can succeed by making an amazing income, only to find out they have to endure a lifestyle they dislike. You can't be successful if you hate your life. Seems obvious, but unfortunately not widely understood.


Career success in big tech is mostly attributable to timing. Being on the right project at the right time. And the most important skill is probably the ability to recognize a lucky situation and take advantage of it.


If you manage to build a business that you can operate at a very low cost (including your time), you almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.


If you create things that you can keep on the market at a very low cost (including your time), you almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.


Procrastination is information. It shows you where your ambitions mismatch your true preferences. And if you force yourself to create something you don't feel like doing, it will show. And if you happen to succeed, you would have hated it so much, you wouldn't do it again.


Business success is mostly a discovery problem, not an execution problem. You won't find success by optimizing and polishing your products (or by making them scale!). You find success by discovering things that work, despite the abundant room for improvement.


Avoiding risk of ruin is not enough. You also need to avoid spending time on things with low chance of success. You need to make sure you see multiple payoffs in your lifetime, so you can’t keep trying things with 1 in 1000 odds. The upside won’t matter. You’ll run out of time.


If you have high running costs, time is your enemy. Every day adds new obligations. Your profits must always beat time. If you have negligible running costs, time is your friend. Every day adds new opportunity. You almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.


If you make many small bets, you don’t have to rely on being a great visionary to succeed.


You can approach your career 1. by continuously trying to prove yourself to your peers, employers, customers 2. or by doing the best work you can & whatever happens, happens The 1st tends to lead to more success. The 2nd to more happiness. And sometimes you get success anyway.


Start conservative, not optimistic. If you think the odds of success are low, keep thinking until you find an almost sure bet. Eventually (when you can't stop winning), you can take a few speculative shots. But do this too soon, and it will destroy your motivation.


Judge your decisions not by what actually happened, but by everything that could have happened. Outcomes are a poor measure of success. An imprudent risk that happened to pay off is not success. A sustainable process that will almost certainly pay off, is.


Confidence comes from having nothing important to lose. Repeated success doesn't necessarily lead to confidence because our subconscious knows that it might have just been luck. So, choose carefully what's really important, and protect it aggressively. Then, confidence comes.


Success brings with it an insidious downside: It raises the bar of what we consider satisfying. Achieving X can be very satisfying. But achieving X after achieving a bigger X can be extremely disappointing. This phenomenon can lead a successful person to a miserable existence.


When you work for yourself, a small mistake is information. It helps you adapt your approach, which increases your odds of future success. When you’re employed, a small mistake might go in your performance record, which increases your odds of getting fired.


The fun comes when you try something with low expectations, and it ends up succeeding anyway, “beyond expectations”. Curb your expectations. Make small bets. Farm luck.

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