David Perell

David Perell quotes on work

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

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1

I wonder how much productivity is lost because people can’t take afternoon naps at work

2

The Internet rewards people who work fast. Code fast. Write fast. Design fast. On the Internet, the cost of publishing is free and the algorithms reward people who publish frequently. That's why so many of the top creators are prolific. Learn to work fast.

3

It takes the entire day to finish 3 hours of creative work

4

Everybody's talking about remote work. Communicate in long-form: Most companies do too much messaging and not enough long-form writing. Communicate less often, but with much more rigor.

5

Nearly every entrepreneur I talk so says hiring is their biggest challenge. The world is starving for competent people with a strong work-ethic.

6

Office work benefits extroverts who are great at talking. Remote work benefits introverts who are great at writing.

7

No matter how much you love your work, if you can't control when you work and how you work, you will eventually resent it

8

I used to think the world was efficient. Now that it’s older, I see that it’s wildly inefficient. We can’t coordinate big projects, smart people are bored at work, and people are not nearly as healthy as they could be. We’re 5-10% as productive as we could be. Maybe less.

9

Key goal of your 20s: Build relationships with people you want to work with later in life. The seeds of great companies are sown years before they’re built.

10

Elon Musk once asked his team how long it would take to start digging a tunnel. "2 weeks." Musk replied: "Let’s get started today and see what’s the biggest hole we can dig between now and Sunday afternoon, running 24 hours a day.” 2 hours later, there was a hole in the ground

11

The etymology of the word amateur is “lover.” It refers to somebody who does something because they love it, not because they get paid to do it. In the modern world, we’ve forgotten the idea. People are afraid to perform poorly and activities need to be justified by profit.

12

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

13

Doing work you don't like doing is way more exhausting than working long hours

14

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

15

If people don’t call you crazy, your work isn’t interesting enough

16

I like the word "freelancer." It literally translates to "a sword for hire." Originally, it referred to medieval mercenaries who fought for whichever country paid them the most. Today, the sword is a good metaphor for the sharp specialization that defines a freelancer's work.

17

Success shouldn't be synonymous with how good you are at forcing yourself to do what you don't want to do.

18

Conventional wisdom says that more education is better. But I think we need less. People should be able to find their first jobs with 12-18 months of vocational training. Then, once they're financially stable, we should encourage them to continue their education.

19

I wish every productive person wrote a book-length guide to how they live, work, and think.

20

You can only be prolific if doing the work brings you more joy than the rewards

21

My rules for working: 1) Solve problems other people aren’t solving. 2) Leverage the internet. 3) Share as much knowledge as possible. 4) Make two people proud: your 8-year old self and your 80-year old self. 5) The best partners have talents that look like magic to you.

22

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.

23

In creative work, being obsessed with your craft is more important than working hard

24

In the future, there will be two ways to work: Computers tell you what to do, or you tell computers what to do

25

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

26

Three trends for the future of work: 1) More short-term projects. Fewer long-term jobs. 2) Hyper-specialization: Pick a niche and own it. 3) Software automation: Creative and repetitive tasks will be automated. A dream world for brilliant marketers and capable entrepreneurs.

27

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.

28

A big percentage of your success as a knowledge worker depends on one variable. How long it takes you to get into a flow state.

29

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.

30

The most successful people I know seem to have unlimited energy. They can work for days and days on end. When they get tired, they shift their attention instead of taking long breaks. Work, learn, write. Repeat.

31

Customer service should be a high-prestige job title because they know the most about product issues

32

Full-time writers actually have two jobs: Write things worth reading and do things worth writing about.

33

Whenever somebody says they don't like your work, remember that millions of people don't like the Mona Lisa.

34

The word “school” shares the same root as the Greek word for leisure. School was once a place to explore and experiment. But now, it’s a full-time job. Curious minds are saddled with homework. And college prep begins in middle school. The Greeks had it right.

35

If you’re going to do creative work, you have to be obsessed with it. There is no other way.

36

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.

37

Working with exceptional people is one of the greatest joys in life. Nobody told me this.

38

Hunter S. Thompson once said: “I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.” Truth runs away from the spotlight. That's why if you go to a conference, the best ideas are shared at the cocktail bar and rarely the main stage.

39

My beliefs about work: 1) If you want to be prolific, you need to creative time as sacred. 2) If you count learning, I work way more than 40 hours per week. If you don’t, I work way less. 3) The economy is way, way bigger than you think. There’s opportunity everywhere.

40

Learn to teach, learn to entertain, and full-time learning can become your job

41

Everybody raves about deep thinkers, but my favorite people to work with are deep feelers too. They’re sensitive to their emotions, but don’t get paralyzed by them.

42

Right now, it’s a status symbol to have tons of people work for you. But people are gonna start bragging about how *few* employees they have. Freedom is status.

43

Paid newsletters are over-rated: it’s grueling work, your best thinking is stuck behind a paywall, and selling products is much more profitable

44

New York City pro-tip: Don't work in coffee shops. Work in hotels. Better service, comfier seating, faster internet, and near-unlimited space.

45

Every creative project has two parts: 1) You start by imposing your vision on the project. 2) The project takes on a life of its own and imposes its vision on you. Art comes to life when you serve the work.

46

Nothing makes me feel alive like working with exceptional people

47

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.

48

Charge more is the best advice you’ll find. If you sell consulting, you‘ll attract interesting projects. If you sell software, you can make a better product. If you sell courses, you‘ll only teach serious students. The best customers are the ones who pay the most.

49

Free business idea. A market place for high-quality copy editors. Here’s why it’s worth considering: 1) Most people enjoy writing, but need help with editing. 2) Even in the age of the Internet, it’s surprisingly hard to find good editors. 3) Editors can work 100% remotely.

50

If you want to become a good interviewer, develop a desperate need for knowledge

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