We talk about ‘learning’ as though it’s as easy and natural as shopping or watching or doing errands. But it’s not. It’s a commitment, one that we regularly make up excuses to avoid.
Learning takes effort, and it’s hard to find the effort when the world is in flux, when we’re feeling uncertain and when we’re being inundated with bad news. But that’s the moment when learning is more important than ever.
“That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you have ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives...[E]very king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every revered teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
In order to make things you need to understand them. In order to understand them, you need to first learn to notice them. You need to see the little details of the stitch on the handbag, or the almost imperceptible swipe animation on the app’s login screen.
We started by reading all 800 pages of Visa’s operating principles, which was the driest material in the world, just to get an understanding.
facing that fear led me to seek out other opportunities to do things that make me uncomfortable—in business, but also in my personal life, in everything.
And if they go on to say, “But here’s what I think you’re doing wrong,” that’s even better. Some of the best answers go on for 10 minutes, because the person is so excited about the problem we’re solving.
We call a brand or a person authentic when they’re consistent, when they act the same way whether or not someone is looking. Someone is authentic when their actions are in alignment with what they promise.
we are going to keep interviewing and funding startups, we are just going to do the entire process over video. We want to fund founders that can survive and thrive in any market conditions. @ycombinator
But the amazing thing was when I was reading that book, I just had this epiphany. And I realized, years of experience and knowledge had gone into this little device in my hand, and I could read that in a few hours and gain the benefits of that experience and knowledge. And I thought, “That's incredibly powerful. Why aren't people reading books all the time? What else might I learn?” And so that was cool.
But the convenience is only bad if we miss the point, if we miss that it's about nourishment and freeing people up and doing better and better things, and if we only focus on the clicks and the connections and the retweets and the likes for the sake of more and more connections.
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. We’re all busy, but we all get 24 hours a day. People often ask me, “How do you find the time for the work?” And I answer, “I look for it.” You find time the same place you find spare change: in the nooks and crannies. You find it in the cracks between the big stuff—your commute, your lunch break, the few hours after your kids go to bed. You might have to miss an episode of your favorite TV show, you might have to miss an hour of sleep, but you can find the time to work if you look for it.
Regardless of the economic case, there is an extremely strong moral case for governments to provide liquidity and relief to their start-up community. These are businesses like any other. These are people, with mortgages and child-care fees. These are people that have put their life-savings into the early stages of a company, who’s parents have sacrificed dreams to help them get started.
One of the simplest ways to be a better listener is to ask more questions than you give answers, says Gregersen. When you ask questions, you create a safe space for other people to give you an unvarnished truth.
Practically speaking, to be a minimalist smartphone user means that you deploy this device for a small number of features that do things you value (and that the phone does particularly well), and then outside of these activities, put it away. This approach dethrones this gadget from a position of constant companion down to a luxury object, like a fancy bike or a high-end blender, that gives you great pleasure when you use it but doesn’t dominate your entire day.
“You do it because you’re enjoying yourself. When this is the case, you don’t give up when you don’t see growth; and when you don’t give up, anything can happen.”
“The only way a side project will work is if people give themselves permission to think simple, to change their minds, to fail — basically, to not take them too seriously,” says van Schneider. “When you treat something like it’s stupid, you have fun with it, you don’t put too much structure around it. You can enjoy different types of success.”
Structured procrastination means shaping the structure of the tasks one has to do in a way that exploits this fact. The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance. Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen. Indeed, the procrastinator can even acquire, as I have, a reputation for getting a lot done.
In its own way, too, contemporary minimalism has little to do with “the society, the institutions and grand theories.” Despite its anti-consumerist bent, the trend focuses more on personal improvement than on any kind of structural critique.
Rajeev suggests that other small and medium business owners should also explore the opportunity to use WhatsApp Business as a platform to connect with customers, instead of creating an altogether new app.
At this point, it seems crystal clear why the world needs Readup: We need technology that helps us to slow down enough to digest complex information. We need formats that aren’t designed to distract us. We need stronger signals and less noise. And we need to believe that we can use the web to get reliable, accurate information.
What kind of 32-year-old thinks they can take on GM, Ford, and NASA at the same time? The kind of person who thinks normal constraints don’t apply to them – not in an egotistical way, but in a genuine, believe-it-in-your-bones way. Which is also the kind of person who doesn’t worry about, say, SEC rulings about your Twitter etiquette.
People need to feel like they’ve been listened to, not to make the final call. Take the time to listen (you might be wrong), make a decision and then explain the decision. Don’t offer commentary on others’ decisions until you understand why the decisions were made.
So I tried various forms of todo lists, task trackers, and productivity apps. They were all discouraging because the things to do kept getting longer, and there were too many interrelated things like past meeting notes, calendar appointments, idea lists, and lab notebooks, which were all on different systems.