Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo quotes on time management

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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1

A barbell strategy for working on your own things: 1. Find a low-stress gig that pays the bills and leaves you with some spare time & energy. 2. Use your spare time & energy to do whatever you want, w/o being beholden to anyone and w/o risking anything consequential.

2

Imagine thinking that having fun is a waste of time.

3

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.

4

Hard work, works... but you know what's better? Realizing that a fraction of the effort gets you most of the results, and recognizing what fraction to focus on. Then you can use the remaining time to do whatever you want, w/o being beholden to anyone and w/o consequential risk.

5

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.

6

Recognizing an opportunity you aren't expecting requires plenty of idle time, wandering about, tinkering, trial and error, long walks, randomized attention, and other "inefficiencies" of that sort.

7

Work hard, not in grunt work, but in exposing yourself to good luck. Everything hinges on good timing. If the timing is not right, no amount of grunt work will make up for it.

8

Hard work, works... but you know what really works? Realizing that a fraction of the effort gets you most of the results... and recognizing what fraction to focus on. Then you can use the remaining time to do whatever the heck you want... without any obligations.

9

If you think starting is hard, wait until you have to make it last. If you want to stack the odds in your favor, choose things you can imagine doing for 10+ years.

10

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.

11

Sustainable productivity is about working when you’re most effective, and conserving energy when you’re not.

12

Your ability to convert your time to something useful is an asset, just like any other. More people should invest their time the way they invest their money. 👇

13

When hard work stretches you to your limit, you try to eliminate all idle time. But that idle time is actually slack in your system. And by removing all slack from your system, you also eliminate the capacity to immediately explore and pounce on opportunities when they happen.

14

Idle money, idle time, underutilized energy — they all add slack to your system. By keeping yourself not optimized to the limit, you’re more likely to be able to deal with the randomness that life throws at you, without breaking down.

15

It's a very bad sign when an employer demands ASAP all the time. It's a sign of bad judgment, of short-sightedness, of delusions of grandeur, and most importantly, of fragility. If a process/business/team depends on always-on urgency to function, then its days are numbered.

16

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.

17

The weekend is a good time to take stock of your means: your skills, your connections, your free time, your experience, your location, your perspective, your interests, your strengths, etc. Then try to use what you have to design a lifestyle that better matches your preferences.

18

Got some boring (but important) work coming up? Concentrate it all together! Don’t spread it out over time. We seem to have a pain threshold (can’t get more bored than some level). So, minimize total boredom via short high-intensity spikes instead of low-intensity stretches.

19

When you’re creating something and it stops being exhilarating, it’s usually time to wrap it up. It shouldn’t feel like a weight off your shoulders when you’re done. Otherwise it’s almost certain you’ll never do it again.

20

Creating idle time is an investment in yourself. Opportunity is perishable, and when one emerges you can’t just put it on the shelf.

21

Working hard: - Maximize the time spent working. - Minimize the time spent doing anything else. Working smart: - Optimize the time spent working. - Maximize the time spent thinking.

22

In a normal economy, almost everyone is able to make a living trading their time for money. But you definitely can’t say the same thing about product owners. Everyone wants to decouple their income from their time — the problem is there’s no predictable way to achieve that.

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