David Perell

Best quotes by David Perell

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

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1

Business writing 101. ∙ Shorten your sentences. ∙ Make your point fast. ∙ Shorten the introduction. ∙ Use simple words. ∙ Add graphs and statistics. ∙ No buzzwords. ∙ Use more periods, fewer commas. ∙ Write for skimming, not deep reading. ∙ Bold the main takeaways.

2

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.

3

Education is broken. Here is what the future of education will look like: Teaching will become an extremely lucrative profession. Salaries will follow a power law. The best teachers will make millions of dollars per year and teach thousands of students per year.

4

Cold emails are a great way to land a job. Here's what I've learned: ∙ Email the CEO directly. ∙ Show that you're unique. ∙ Be specific. ∙ Make a bold request. ∙ Have a clear call-to-action. ∙ Don't be humble. This isn't the time to be modest. Now... make magic happen.

5

My love of learning began once I stopped going to school

6

Companies should onboard employees with an internal podcast. It would focus on: - Company history - How decisions are made - Industry 101 - How the company makes money - Long-term goals and company vision Fast, efficient, and fun for everybody.

7

The smartest people I know are mostly self-educated.

8

The future of education. Some predictions: 1. Home schooling will be extremely common 2. The stigma around tutoring will disappear. 3. The best independent online teachers will make more than of $1 million per year. A billion dollar business will be built in each space.

9

Lessons from different fields: 1) Advertising: We overestimate our capacity for independent thought. 2) Poker: Life is probabilistic. We can do everything right and still lose. 3) Architecture: We're influenced by our environment, especially when we don’t realize it.

10

Books let you download somebody’s brain for the price of a sandwich

11

Childhood education is broken. Let kids be kids Give kids the space to follow their curiosities, discover their intellectual passions and learn on their own. They should be challenged, but never in danger.

12

The state of online learning: 1) YouTube will eat the low-end of the market. 2) People will pay 5-15x more for live courses. 3) The three biggest competitive advantages are the personality of a creator, the warmth of the community, and the quality of the student experience.

13

Law of the Internet: If somebody recommends an article that’s more than 10 years old, chances are it’s gonna be outstanding

14

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.

15

Key to hospitality: add a bonus. • If you run a hotel, give people an extra 30-minutes to check-out. • If you run a restaurant, thank guests with a free small dessert. • If you run a bakery, keep small cookies on the counter. Short-term costs create long-term loyalty.

16

Every discipline has a book that everybody references, but nobody reads: Physics: The Feynman Lectures Philosophy: Godel, Escher, Bach Sociology: Das Kapital English: Infinite Jest Media: Understanding Media Investing: The Intelligent Investor Economics: The Wealth of Nations

17

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.

18

Let’s set the record straight. Attention spans aren’t falling. Opportunity costs are just rising. Big, big difference. People love long, in-depth content. But it needs to be really, really good.

19

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

20

Startup idea: A dating app that matches you based on your taste in music, movies, and books.

21

You’ll never forget the people who believed in you before anybody else did

22

Toyota has a decision-making principle called “gemba.” Instead of depending on hierarchy, the people who are closest to what’s happening make decisions. Here’s why: Toyota believes that the more hands-on knowledge a decision-maker has, the better their decision will be.

23

People think that if they consume enough information, they'll eventually know enough to write well, but nobody has ever eaten their way to becoming a Michelin Star chef. You have to actually cook.

24

Writing online is a superpower. The Internet rewards people with obscure interests. Writing online will help you find other like-minded hobbyists who you wouldn’t be able to find in real-life.

25

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

26

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.

27

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

28

The Icecream Principle: Tell 10 people to get ice cream. If they have to agree on a flavor, they'll pick chocolate or vanilla every time. Groups of people don't agree on what's cool or interesting. They agree on what's easy. "Consensus" is just another way of saying average.

29

No business school would ever teach a humor class, but being funny is more helpful than the majority of things you learn in an MBA

30

Try to sound smart and your writing won’t be clear. Try to write clearly and you will sound smart. Write to express, not to impress.

31

Writing makes you see how unsure you are about things you thought you were 100% sure about

32

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.

33

The school system is a training ground for the jobs you don’t want to have

34

All the smartest people I know have mastered the art of teaching themselves

35

You hit escape velocity when you like personal growth more than passive entertainment

36

The paradox of creativity: Your work is done when it looks so simple that the consumer thinks they could've done it, which means they won't appreciate how hard you worked

37

A simple formula for writing hooks: "Get 3 yes's in 30 seconds". Readers should nod their head yes to the headline, subheading, and first sentence. If they've made it to the third sentence, they're ready for an interesting and compelling story.

38

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.

39

A company with constant meetings is a company where nobody gets anything done

40

The two paths to extreme wealth. 1. Financialization: Investing, trading, banking, and management consulting. 2. Technology: Computer engineering, optimizing advertisements, and running software-enabled businesses. Almost all the smartest people I know work in these areas.

41

Just because you’re good at school, doesn’t mean you’re good at learning

42

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.

43

When you first start a company, you need Swiss Army Knife people who can do a little bit of everything. Once your company gets big, you need a bunch of kitchen knife people who do one thing very, very well.

44

I’ve basically stopped hanging out with people in big groups. 2-4 people only. The conversations are so much deeper and the friendships are so much stronger. Strong recommend.

45

Everybody is one exceptional essay away from a flood of career opportunities

46

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

47

Writing is nature’s way of showing you how sloppy your thinking usually is

48

I’ve yet to meet an original thinker who doesn’t spend a lot of time alone

49

If you want to learn writing, skip class and start a blog. If you want to learn marketing, skip class and build a business. If you want to learn psychology, skip class and spend a day in a casino. Reality is the world’s best classroom.

50

The media industry is changing fast. Create a language Treat your audience like a friend by adding special phrases and inside jokes for your top fans. Don't just create content — create a world.

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