David Perell

David Perell quotes on systems thinking

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

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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.


Personal beliefs: 1. The world is extremely inefficient. There is low-hanging fruit everywhere. 2. People don’t learn from history. Study the greats. Find simple lessons. Copy the best stuff. 3. When in doubt, don’t blame individual people. Blame the incentives of the system.


Talking to a very smart friend. He says STAMINA is an key indicator of long-term success. People with stamina: - Respond well to failure - Have obsessive personalities - They do similar things on weekdays and weekends (my favorite one) Secret way to find under-valued talent.


The core skill of building a business is creating systems for things you do repeatedly


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.


Talent: Hitting targets other people can't hit. Genius: Hitting targets other people can't see.


The system with the fewest moving parts is usually the best one


The education system is mostly designed to produce college professors


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


My philosophy of LEARNING: Treat learning like a process, not a product. Learning is a way of life. Every day counts. Strive to appreciate the world. Ignore boundaries between disciplines. Examine your assumptions. The holy grail is finding JOY in this daily ritual.


When starting a company, choosing your industry is 10% of the work but determines 50% of the outcome


Goal for my business: Make it easy to run, even if it means we can’t build a massive company


When you add complexity to a system, you feel the benefits first and the costs later — which is why it’s so dangerous. Prize simplicity.


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.


Learn multiplying skills. When you multiply your skills, you magnify the results of your efforts. • A biologist who speaks 5 language and has a PhD in history. • An investor with a background in psychology and machine learning. Hint: Writing is a multiplier for everything.


Forget about the size of your audience. Write for the smartest people in the world, the ones who can unlock opportunities with a single email.


WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE 1) Writing moves the world. The Bible, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address. Study history. The written word is uniquely powerful. 2) Writing sharpens your thinking. The mind usually jumps from thought to thought, but writing forces you to slow down.


Free business idea. An online course to help people set up their computer for maximum productivity. Default settings are designed for simplicity, not performance. Here's your tagline: "Ten hours of setup. Thousands of hours saved." The idea is yours.


What we’re promised: Go to high school. Go to college. Go to graduate school. Get a good job. What we actually get: Go to high school. Go to college. Go to graduate school. Stop taking risks. Get a boring job to pay for student debt. The system isn‘t working for young people.


Knowledge Work 101: People over-estimate what they can accomplish with ten hours of distracted work and under-estimate what they can accomplish with two hours of undistracted work. Focus is everything.


The simpler your productivity systems, the more creative your work can be


Remote work has more typing and less talking. That makes business writing a mandatory skill in a remote work world.


Two things: 1) People under-estimate what they can achieve with TWO hours of focused writing. 2) People over-estimate what they can achieve with TEN hours of distracted writing.


Writing is like running. It never gets easier. You just get better at it. So.... write every day. Publish every week. And learn to love the process.


Information wants to be free, but most people won't take action until they pay for information. That's why online courses are profitable. Students don't pay for information. They pay for results.


Learning is like love. You don’t achieve it by pursuing it directly — it’s a byproduct of your actions.


Don't get me wrong... work-life balance is important. But working really, really hard is the only way to accomplish something hard. It's 10:20pm on a Thursday night, and I'm writing essays and replying to emails. Get after it. Take what's yours.


Lessons from creating an online course: 1) Making a course is hard. But marketing is the ultimate differentiator. 2) People come for the results, but stay for the people. 3) Over time, the ideas in your course will become a commodity. Community is the long-term differentiator.


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.


The usefulness of checklists depends on the payoffs of an experience. If there’s big upside and low downside, you don’t want checklists. When there’s low upside and big downside, you want a checklist.


Rule #1 for remote work: Company systems should have as few moving parts as possible. Sending messages back-and-forth is the enemy of speed, efficiency, and quality of life.


Groups can optimize, but breakthrough ideas are created by a single person.


The three steps of writing an essay: 1) Simple 2) Complex 3) Simple I usually finish close to where I started, but the writing process refines the original idea.


Most people don’t think they can make a difference with their ideas. I’m telling you... You can.


Writing operations-focused rules for my team: ∙ Prize simplicity over performance ∙ Reduce back-and-forth ∙ Create systems for all repeated actions ∙ Give responsibility to individuals, not teams Every urgent email or text message reveals an upstream leak in our systems.

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