Sam Altman

Sam Altman quotes on focus

American entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger. Former president of Y Combinator.

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How things get done in the world: Relentless focus Self-confidence Personal connections Effective leadership (communication, management, vision, and evangelism)


Generally the highest ROI comes from getting even better in areas where you're already strong, not improving in areas where you're weak. There are important exceptions, but most people focus on their weaknesses too much.


It’s common to have vision; it’s rare to have plans.


The right answer to many problems faced by a startup is "do less things". Very rarely the option the CEO chooses.


long-term thinking is a competitive advantage because almost no one does it


The most impressive people I know spent their time with their head down getting shit done for a long, long time.


If you consistently do something today instead of scheduling a meeting for next week, your career is likely to be far more impactful than most.


Practice doing what you need to do even when you don't want to. Get it done first so you don't have to keep thinking about it.


Even fewer people are willing/able to actually execute on plans. People who have a bold vision, specific plans, and execution ability can make magic happen.


Very hard to learn to say no to the pretty good ideas to save focus for the great ones.


productivity tips: work hard on stuff that matters. don't work on stuff that doesn't matter. (most people screw up the second part.)


Another key to success: learn to ignore haters. This is hard.


The best founders are always very responsive. I used to wonder why. It indicates decisiveness, focus, intensity, ability to get stuff done.


The least effective people always seem to care the most about credentials.


Someone once told me the way things get done is a combination of focus and personal connections. I believe it more every year.


The mental distraction of worry and indecision is so bad. The most effective people I know are great at avoiding.


Specific ambition, combined with relentless execution, is extremely powerful. Non-specific ambition leads to a lot of energy and random movement but no forward progress.

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