David Perell

David Perell quotes on making progress

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

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1

If you want to improve your writing, start by becoming a better note-taker. Save only the best notes: Don't hoard information. Save your top 5-10% of ideas only. That way, you can trust that everything in your note-taking system is high-quality.

2

90% of running a business is making a bunch of tiny improvements that nobody notices, but end up being transformative over time. It’s not sexy, but it works.

3

The pain of writing is actually the pain of improving your thinking

4

Writing is like weightlifting for the brain. Yes, it's hard. But it will improve the quality of your thinking.

5

Becoming world-class at Googling things is one of the most valuable skills you can have, but I don’t know anybody who actively tries to get better at it.

6

My philosophy of writing: • Write every day. • Write in public to improve the quality of your thinking. • Write for clarity, not to impress people. • Write about your curiosities. You don’t need to be an expert. • Write for the most intelligent person you know.

7

The fastest way to improve your thinking is to write daily and defend a perspective you disagree with

8

Write like you speak. Then improve how well you speak.

9

Improving your writing begins with turning off the part of your brain that tries to sound smart whenever you start typing

10

There’s an idea in poker called “table selection.” Basically, there are two ways to win more: you can either improve your skills or you can play against weaker players. The metaphor applies to every industry.

11

No matter what you do for work, your life will improve if you learn to write

12

Good hobbies make you smarter, wealthier, or improve your relationships. Writing online does all three.

13

Improve your decisions, improve your business. Prioritize Speed, Move with Direction: Move at Internet speed, but never without direction. Find projects with big upside and low downside. Then, double-down on projects with momentum.

14

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.

15

Simple trick to improve your writing: Get to the point faster.

16

Treat your craft like an athlete treats their sport. Here's how I improve my writing: ∙ Work with a writing coach ~3x per month. ∙ Read many books and very few articles. ∙ Write for 90 minutes per day. ∙ Mirror my favorite writers. ∙ An editor reviews everything I publish.

17

A well-written sentence can change your life. With the stroke of a pen, you can build your network, improve your thinking, and create opportunities for yourself. Best of all, it's easy to start writing. All you need is discipline. Learn to write.

18

I’m reading fewer books, fewer articles, and falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes every night. Start with a big subject like “The Galápagos Islands.” Then, follow the hyperlinks. 99% of people would be better off reading 10x more Wikipedia, and less of almost everything else.

19

Biggest quality of life improvement I’ve made: No meetings before 2pm so I can workout and finish 2 hours of creative work every morning

20

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.

21

We underestimate how much of human progress comes from people seeing that something is possible. ∙ Bannister was the 1st person to run a 4-minute mile. Now, people do it all the time. ∙ Tony Hawk was the first person to land a 720, but a 2nd grader just landed the same trick.

22

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.

23

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

24

If you want to think originally, read outside your industry. • Avoid industry podcasts. • Put down the industry magazine. • Skip the top-recommended books. Borrow from other industries, so you can bring a fresh perspective to your work.

25

To improve your writing, stop trying to sound smart.

26

Online education is taking off. But the courses on the future will look nothing like the courses of today. The best ones will be: • Active, not passive. • Communal, not solo. • Responsive, not static. • Live, not recorded. It’s happening. Education is finally improving.

27

If you want to become a better writer, skip every academic course and study copywriting.

28

If you want to improve your writing, study the great speeches of history. Don’t listen for the ideas. Listen for the rhythm, the cadence, and the music.

29

Why I write long-form essays: 1) Writing sharpens my thinking. 2) To attract the most intellectually curious people in the world — and learn from them. 3) To build deep relationships with readers, some of whom will become lifelong friends. Long-form is my favorite format.

30

Want to improve your writing skills? My unconventional advice: Skip the usual books and learn copywriting. Copywriters write with clarity and simplicity. No fluff. They get straight to the point. Strong recommend.

31

Take a moment to appreciate the power of writing online. When you share intelligent ideas, you accelerate human progress and attract incredible people and opportunities. Almost anybody can write. And everything you need is available online, for free. Writing is a superpower.

32

Information is food. The similarities: 1) Choosing what to avoid is as important as choosing what to consume. 2) Fasting has proven health benefits. 3) Just as you'll improve your food diet if you start cooking, you'll improve your information diet if you start writing.

33

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

34

Most people would improve their information diet by reading only Wikipedia, and nothing else

35

Startup formula for bootstrappers: 1. Solve an existing problem to attract instant revenue. 2. Ask for feedback from customers. Listen to them and improve the product. 3. Steer the company roadmap towards a big market with little competition. Then, keep going.

36

Improve your writing by adding precision, not length

37

My writing philosophy in a tweet: 1) The Internet rewards people who are prolific. 2) Most "writing" happens away from the computer. 3) Write for an audience to improve your thinking and attract great people. 4) Building an intelligent audience is a cheat code for life.

38

A formula for making yourself luckier. Luck = How much value you create x How many people you tell about it. Improve the world. Then share everything you learn. Rise, repeat.

39

Improve your writing with repetition. Improve it with fresh ideas, improve it with obsessive editing, and improve it with words that make you smile. But save this trick for a special moment — when you really need to make a point.

40

Three thoughts on measurement: 1) If you want to improve an outcome, measure it. 2) Focus on qualitative metrics at the beginning of a project. Save the quantitative ones for later. 3) Don’t let fear of imperfect measurement stop you from measuring anything at all.

41

Easy way to improve your writing: Add sound. Use words like bang and bash, clack and clang, ring and roar. Activate the reader's senses. Turn your prose into a symphony of sounds.

42

Easy way to improve an experience: Eliminate confusion. ∙ Too many restaurants make it hard to find the host. ∙ Too many hotels make it hard to find the fitness center. ∙ Too many shopping malls make it hard to find the right store. Make things easy for people.

43

Tips for conversations with smart friends: 1. Take light notes during the conversation. 📝 2. Share links to relevant books and podcasts. 📚 3. Send a short summary to your friends afterwards. 👥 You’ll boost your memory and accelerate your learning. Strong recommend.

44

Questions I'm thinking about... 1. How can we improve small group learning + communication? When small group trust is high, you can explore fringe and controversial ideas. In 1-on-1 chat, communication has to be symmetric. In group chats, you can consume more than you produce.

45

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

46

Easy way to improve productivity: Don't do the same thinking twice. Write down your best ideas. Then save them in a central location. In the heat of the moment, you don't have time to think. Search through your notes and apply what you've already written to the task at hand.

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