Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia quotes on systems thinking

Founder Gumroad, funder @

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Old status symbol: wearing a suit to work New status symbol: wearing jeans and a t-shirt Old status symbol: working 80 hours a week New status symbol: sleeping 8 hours a day Humans are mimetic. Updating our status symbols may be the best way to create sustained systemic change.


Success comes slowly, then all at once.


Sending 100 copy-pasted cold emails in one hour: 1% conversion rate. Sending 10 unique cold emails in one hour: 80% conversion rate. Plus you’ll have practiced your writing skills, and done more research on the people you’re trying to help.


Before you learn to code, learn to codify. Codifying means taking the repetitive tasks in your job or life and organizing them in a systemic way. Once you see a pattern you can automate with code, learn to code.


Getting fit is free. Learning virtually any skill is free. Building an audience is free. Free doesn’t mean easy, nor quick. But it does mean anyone can do it.


Confidence comes from having recovered from failure.


Building products, writing, and painting are not mental excercises, they are physical ones. Reading to improve is like watching someone else workout – it does almost nothing for you. To run better, run. To paint better, paint. To write better, write. To build better, build.


If you believe something will happen, it will be more likely to happen.


Your adulthood is mostly a result of your childhood.


Some startups are research experiments. Sometimes the best outcome is for them to realize there is no current solution, report back, and find a new hypothesis to investigate. That's not failure, that's necessary.


The potential impact of a good action grows exponentially over time. You never know whose life you will radically transform with some words you write or a product you build. And the impact they will now have on other people. And what *those* people will now do for others...


People often poke holes in tweets, not realizing they were written to hit an emotional resonance instead of an intellectual one. The intended audience gets it, and responds positively. Others see this and “dunk” for their own audiences – spreading the message like wildfire.


Behind every effortless display is a whole lot of effort.


The path to simplicity goes through complexity.


The path to simplicity goes through complexity.


Goals make you less happy. If you’re aware of the destination, you can’t fully enjoy the journey.


Many systems require you to learn a game that many people don't want to play. Raising money, making a movie, getting promoted, getting signed. You might not like the game, but the best way to change it is to win it first.


Patience is becoming exponentially more valuable as things accelerate and more stuff happens within the same amount of time.


Good design shrinks the gap between what a product does and why it exists.


Interesting journeys consist of various leaps of faith of varying degrees.


You get what you pay for. Except the best stuff, which is free.

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