David Perell

David Perell quotes on environment

"The Writing Guy". He tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing.

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Google Maps is the most under-rated product in society right now. Limitless potential.


Mirrors and clocks transformed society, but they’re so old that nobody questions them. Clocks created a culture of anxiety. Mirrors created a culture of narcissism.


Here's a crazy theory: Alcohol is a social technology for trustworthiness. We get drunk with people to see how they act when they lose some control. They reveal themselves once they've had a few drinks because their powers of deception are inhibited.


Online course idea: How to consume information. It’s such an important topic and few people study it carefully. Eventually, people will watch their information diet like they watch what they eat. Good frameworks will make society smarter too. Important problem, huge market.


If I ran an investment fund, I’d have a simple thesis: • People are increasingly willing to pay for productivity software. • Online learning is about to explode because we’re losing faith in the traditional college system. • It’s becoming easier to monetize social capital.


Biologically, few things are more difficult than holding an opinion everybody you know disagrees with. Intellectually, it’s one of the strongest skills you can have.


Assume you don’t have free will. You are 100% programmed by your environment. If it’s true, you are what you consume. You become what you read. You act just like your friends. Might be a useful idea, even if it isn’t 100% true. Better inputs. Better outputs.


The bigger the group, the less creative the brainstorm


The Internet will make most teachers obsolete, but make the best ones wealthy by giving them free distribution and global reach


One simple change has made a HUGE difference in my life. Old: I used to hang with people for 60 minutes at a time. New: Now I spend 3-6 hours with friends at a time. The laughs are louder, the relationships are stronger, and the conversations are deeper. Strong recommend.


I love the German word: Fingerspitzengefühl The literal translation is "finger tips feeling." It describes somebody with extreme situational awareness, who has strong intuitive instincts in complex situations. They act with tact in social situations and foresight in business.


Future of education thoughts: 1) Most people struggle to learn on their own, so online learning should be social. 2) Teachers are educators and entertainers. In an age of infinite choice, bored learners will leave. 3) The best teachers will teach millions of students per year.


We remember physical books better than Kindle ones because memory is spacial. Instead of storing every idea in our head, we outsource memory to our environment. That’s why smart students study for exams in the same place they take the test.


If you want to write more, changing your environment works better than trying to increase your willpower


People learn fastest when they can imitate other people. Chefs learn by watching other chefs. Dancers learn by watching other dancers. Athletes learn by watching other athletes. But knowledge workers can’t really watch each other in action. Business opportunity.


The weirdest part about college: everybody fought for the same boring jobs. We trained to become investment bankers and management consultants. Most people in my class abandoned their dreams before graduation — and caved to corporate demands. As a society, we need to fix this.


Give knowledge work the same respect that great athletes give their sport. Train every day, write detailed improvement plans, and surround yourself with people who push you towards excellence.


Beyoncé records albums by renting out multiple studios at the same time. She jumps between rooms, where she brainstorms ideas and works on different songs with different musicians and different producers. Once she loses momentum, she changes the vibe by switching studios.


Easy way to improve reading retention: read books with friends. Reading a book takes 10-20 hours. Add 2-3 hours for in-person discussion and your reading retention will skyrocket. Plus... it’s fun. Book clubs or 1-on-1 conversation. They both work. Strong recommend.


Less of this: “Find your passion.” More of this: “Work hard, surround yourself with incredible people, and serve others to make your work meaningful.”


Most important societal trends: • Online dating. • Age distribution. People are having fewer kids as the number of old people increases. • Rise of the “rental economy.” People are buying homes later. Short-term transactions are increasingly common.


Nothing makes me feel alive like working with exceptional people


20th century: Cities were oriented around production, so people moved to cities for work. 21st century: Cities will be oriented around consumption, so people will move to cities for entertainment.


Share an optimistic vision on the Internet, update people on your progress, and thousands of people will help you achieve it


My deepest conversations are often with total strangers. There’s no baggage in a first-time meeting, so you can speak from the heart. You can talk about love, grief, death, despair, and everything in between. What a beautiful thing.


If you want to see what a society values, look at its tallest buildings


Online courses: Come for the course, stay for the community. Instructors should focus on: • Live 1-on-1 chats for students to meet people • Tools for students to message each other • Ways for students to help each other • Systems to match students with shared interests


Two things I believe: 1) In a capitalist world, improving how capital is allocated will have a huge downstream impact. 2) Too many of the smartest people I know allocate capital for a living, and society would be better if they built things instead.


My #1 Learning Strategy: FOMO your way towards brilliance. Step 1: Surround yourself with intellectually hungry people. Step 2: Hang out with them. They'll inspire you and give you "Information FOMO." Step 3: Learn on your own. Go back to step 1. Repeat cycle forever.


Society no longer believes in the liberal arts, so it’s a great place to turn your attention.


A world where people can't be wrong is a world without genius


In Danish, there are two words for play: 1. Spille: Playing in an environment with rules and regulations. 2. Lege: Playing when there are few rules, so you can be creative. In English, we can't have nuanced discussions about play because we use the same word for both concepts.


Two connected trends: 1. The end of lifetime employment. 2. People moving to cities. Employers don’t promote lifetime job security anymore. But strong professional networks bring career stability, even after you change jobs. Cities are the best place to build your network.


Public speaking online: Open an app. Press record. Public speaking in-person: Pick a date, book a flight, reserve a room, sell tickets, buy microphone equipment, test your audio, hire an event planner, order catering, go on stage, speak, drive to the airport, fly home.


People are short-term thinkers who depend on tradition to help their society survive in the long-term


Progress studies tracks metrics like GDP growth, but we should study social progress more. Some key factors: • Family closeness • Institutional trust • Depression rates • Number of close friendships

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