Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia quotes on communication

Founder Gumroad, funder @

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Become a better communicator overnight: - Replace every “but” you can with an “and” - Never start a sentence with “no” or “disagree” - Only give feedback if there’s a chance it will be implemented - Tell people you will be late before you are late - Bias to overcommunicating


It takes years to become a great engineer, designer, writer, painter. But it only takes days to become communicative, reliable, and nice to be around — which will put you above 90% of your peers.


Hard conversations get harder the longer you wait to have them.


Great ideas come from two places: solitude and conversation.


You're as smart as the stupidest person you spend time arguing with.


Miscommunication is expensive. The best ways to minimize it are to stay as small as you can, hire generalists (compress the talent stack), teach people to manage up, move slower, and instill writing as a core component of your culture.


Building a product for others: - Starting with zero customers - Painfully slow feedback loop - Customers don’t tell you what they really want Building a product for yourself: - Starting with one customer - you! - Infinitely fast feedback loop - Little to no miscommunication


Communicating with humans is much harder than communicating with computers. Learning English is much harder than learning Python. So if you can learn to speak, you can definitely learn to code.


If you really appreciate a product existing, tell its creators. They may not know. They may feel like giving up. Your note might make their day, and maybe even provide them with the energy to keep going!


You can have a conversation with a few people at a time. Your blog posts can be read by thousands of people at a time. Your products can be used by millions of people at a time. Productize yourself to scale yourself.


To become a better communicator, be more specific: I’ll get it done soon → before lunch. That looks better → faster, simpler. I like it → I like it because...


Learn to communicate. If you're a designer, you communicate a lot. If you're an engineer, you communicate. If you're a founder, you communicate. If you're a VC, a lawyer, a painter, a podcaster, an accountant, a comedian… you communicate. Learn to communicate!


"Early and often" has been a very effective mantra for me… Ship code early and often. Communicate early and often. Ask for feedback early and often. Share your best ideas early and often. If you're not already, consider doing things earlier and more often!


All work is remote, it’s just a question of how remote. All communication is asynchronous, it’s just a question of how delayed. All companies raise money, it’s just a question of who they raise money from: owners, investors, or customers.


Physically manifesting an idea is a great way to find out if you really understand it. Think you know? Write it down. Think you see? Draw it. More than the words or the drawing, you'll have a list of concepts you don't understand well enough to communicate it effectively.


Most of my ideas come from conversations.


Stop trying to get people on the phone. An ongoing email thread with someone you respect is much more useful than a phone call.


Beyond technical ability, I look for these characteristics in candidates: - Communicates well (everyone always knows what they're up to) and asks for feedback early and often - Self-motivated to solve problems and find new ones - Manages up (tells me how to best empower them)


We should nix the word "obviously" from conversation. It doesn't add anything besides making people feel bad if they weren't aware beforehand. Plus, a lot of things are "obvious" once heard, but it's being made *aware* of it at a relevant time that's important.


Start by contributing: - Add your take to a thread - Write fan fiction - Help someone build their company Then contribute by starting: - Start conversations - Write a novel - Start your own company


Writing is a way to scale the conversations you have in person.


Interpersonal communication is like static electricity. The longer you go without touching, the more it hurts when you do. Ground early and often.

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