David Perell

David Perell quotes on ideas

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

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1

Best way to learn faster: Have a stake in the outcome. To learn about food, cook for friends. To learn about an idea, publish an article about it. To learn about stocks, invest in the stock market. Risk awakens our learning muscles like a splash of cold water.

2

The internet has a recency bias. Old ideas aren’t resurfaced enough. We’re obsessed with what’s happening right now. Articles, blog posts, interviews, documentaries. You name it. The world needs older ideas.

3

The world rewards the people who are best at communicating ideas, not the people with the best ideas.

4

The Internet is the most important technology in our lives. You don't need permission to build things on the Internet. All you need is an idea, a vision, 2-3 skills, and the discipline to execute it.

5

When evaluating startup ideas, Peter Thiel tells entrepreneurs to ask three questions: 1) What is valuable? 2) What can I uniquely do? 3) What is nobody else doing? Every writer should ask themselves these questions before starting an essay too.

6

Whenever you think all the good ideas are taken, remember this: We put a man on the moon before we put wheels on suitcases.

7

How to take notes: - Read on Kindle - Highlight everything interesting - Export highlights to Evernote - Bold the best ideas - Delete the fluff Extra points if you type up a summary. Just like that, all your best ideas will be saved in your pocket forever. Easy and efficient.

8

If you can’t communicate an idea clearly, you haven’t written about it enough

9

Checklist for writing good paragraphs: • Focus on one idea • Make that idea surprising • Maximum of one long sentence • Add a story, statistic, or example • Key points at the beginning and the end Break these rules when necessary, but that’s 90% of what you need to know.

10

Writing well is 5% ideas, 5% grammar, and 90% not being distracted by the Internet.

11

There are two ways to have brilliant ideas: 1) The hard way: Try to come up with all the ideas yourself. 2) The easy way: Read books. Most problems can be solved with focused attention and a book. Books are a cheat code. Do the easy thing. Read books.

12

So much of success can be explained in one sentence: “I had one good idea and executed like a crazy person for 10 years.”

13

A Harvard paper found a relationship between alcohol and innovation. ∙ States that prohibited alcohol during the Prohibition produced ~8-18% fewer patents per year. ∙ Bar innovation happens not just because of collaboration, but also because people are exposed to new ideas.

14

The people who die with the most regret are the ones who had a creative vision, but never followed through with it

15

My nights are sacred. Since I started working, I’ve reserved 2-3 nights per week for reading, learning, and thinking. It’s my time without distraction — to explore the wonderful world of ideas. This habit has absolutely changed my life. The benefits keep compounding.

16

I love when exceptional people explain their worldview. Examples: 1) Warren Buffett’s annual letters 2) Jeff Bezos’ letters to shareholders 3) George Soros’ speeches on the theory of reflexivity and fallibility Learn as much as you can. Then share your best ideas in public.

17

If you don’t think you’re a good writer, I have three recommendations for you: 1) Write for clarity, not to impress people. 2) Start taking notes: Writing is easier when you save your ideas. 3) Nail the basics: Shorten your sentences and write like you’re talking to a friend.

18

My career is driven by one insight. Writing on the internet give you massive leverage. Here’s why: Demand for quality content far exceeds the supply of it. Sharing ideas attracts kind and intelligent people. Some will become business partners. And others, lifelong friends.

19

To find interesting ideas, look for people at the intersection of two fields which rarely overlap

20

What would a 6-month curriculum for knowledge workers look like? Here’s an idea: • Build a note-taking system • Learn to write • Build a personal website • Nail the basics of design • Make “inbox zero” a habit Write well, build an audience, learn to organize your ideas.

21

Why writing is an essential skill: 1) Remote work will shift communication from voice to text. 2) Almost every successful person spends a lot of time writing. 3) Leverage: Anybody can publish ideas, and they can now spread to every corner of the globe. We are all writers now.

22

Writing online 101. ∙ Build your audience by teaching. ∙ Publish every week. ∙ Write on your own website. ∙ Write about what excites you. ∙ Share your best ideas. ∙ Aim to write unlike anybody else. ∙ The Internet rewards clarity. ∙ Turn off the Internet when you write.

23

If you want to improve your writing, start taking notes. Here’s why: Note-taking isn’t about saving ideas. It’s about having conversations with your past and future self — so you can develop ideas over time.

24

Modern networking: Make things, write about ideas, and tell people what you're working on.

25

An idea will only spread far once you can explain it in 10 words or less

26

I love screenshots. I use them to save information, remember things, and add tasks to my to-do list. But now, I have thousands of saved screenshots that pollute my camera roll. Suspect I'm not alone. Big opportunity.

27

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.

28

Studying somebody for years and directly applying their ideas to a new domain is an under-rated career strategy.

29

Writing every day is the best way to become a better public speaker. Talking about things you’ve already written about it easy, and your ideas will be so well-structured that people will call you a genius.

30

Developing ideas is like building a garden. Your ideas move in three stages: 1) Seeds: Messy personal notes that you don't publish. 2) Trees: Cleaned-up summaries of ideas that build upon each other and develop over time. 3) Fruits: Published work like essays and books.

31

Crazy idea: Copy and paste is one of the best inventions in human history. Saves millions of human hours every year.

32

Big ideas can be simple. Just remember, we put a man on the moon before we put wheels on suitcases.

33

Audiobooks should be WAY better. Ideas: 1) The readers should speak with more passion and enthusiasm. 2) Write two versions of the book. One to read, one to listen to. 3) Add background noises to color-up the story.

34

A freakishly large number of the smartest people I know studied debate. I like how much they focus on how ideas are framed instead of jumping to conclusions. Instead of moving individual pieces, they create the rules of the game because that’s the highest leverage thing to do.

35

Writing online is networking for introverts. Instead of chasing the best people, you can have the best people come to you. Skip the conferences. Publish your best ideas instead.

36

Your writing will improve once you start focusing on one idea. One idea per sentence. One idea per paragraph. One idea per essay.

37

College in 2000: Take notes in class, use them to pass the test, then throw them away at the end of the semester. College in 2030: Students graduate with a note-taking system, so they never lose their best ideas.

38

Improve your writing by adding twice as many ideas in half as many words.

39

Free idea: Collect your favorite books, articles, videos, lectures, and podcasts about your go-to subject. Then, publish it online. You’ll help yourself by engaging with the best things you’ve consumed. You’ll help the world by helping people learn.

40

My crazy beliefs about writing: 1. Writing fast is just as important as writing well. 2. Good writing isn’t about good syntax or grammar. Having interesting ideas is much more important. 3. If you can’t write, don’t read a writing book. Build a note-taking system first.

41

My advice to online course creators: 1) Focus less on the quality of your ideas, and more on student experience. 2) Premium prices come from premium live sessions. 3) The business is 20% hospitality, 30% teaching, and 50% marketing. 4) People pay for results — not learning.

42

My favorite entrepreneurs follow the same strategy: 1) Hire unique people who have ideas. 2) Trust them to execute on their vision — as long as the cost of failure is low and the benefits of success are high. 3) Cut the failures and double-down on what works. Rinse, repeat.

43

Think of all the knowledge that isn’t shared because people think that all their best ideas have been written down before and they have nothing new to contribute

44

Publish something new every day. A song, a video, a tweet, a drawing, an article. It doesn't matter. On the Internet, it costs nothing to create or distribute your ideas. Even better, you get instant feedback which makes you better at your craft. Build the habit of publishing.

45

How to build an online brand: Create your own territory. 1) Pick a unique intersection of ideas. 2) Start writing about it. 3) Add some style and personality. Best of all, there is unlimited territory on the Internet. A global audience is waiting for you. Start writing.

46

Dear writers, Focus on the smallest idea you can find. Don't try to explain your entire worldview in one article. Focus on the smallest idea you can find instead — which you can explain in one sentence. Brick-by-brick, article-by-article, you will build a Colesseum of ideas.

47

How to kill writer’s block: Most people start writing with a blank page. They expect ideas to magically appear in their mind Do the opposite. Start with TONS of information. Quotes, pictures, paragraphs. You name it. Then, start writing. New ideas will SPRING into your mind.

48

World-changing ideas are hidden in plain sight. Just remember, we put a man on the moon before we put wheels on suitcases.

49

Three ways to write more clearly. 1) Examples: Abstract concepts are hard to follow, but examples make them real. 2) Metaphors: Make your ideas come to life by comparing them to something else. 3) Specifics: Add statistics, colorful words, and precise descriptions.

50

Writing is 5% thinking, 5% editing, and 90% worrying that you’re out of good ideas for the rest of your life.

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