Skip to main content

Posts

2023


You've Probably Never Had an Original Idea

·4 mins
I’ve never liked the word “invention”; instead, I prefer the term discovery. Nobody has ever invented anything–rather, sometimes we come upon discoveries, and some people are lucky enough to figure out how to get money from them. Whenever I think I’m clever and have somehow come upon a new idea, I have to take a step back and remind myself that nearly everything has already been tried or thought of at some point.

Neuroticism

·3 mins
The people I’ve had the worst relationships with in life have generally been those who are highly neurotic. For this post, I’ll define neuroticism as being inconsistent, anxious, aggressive, and overreacting to minor obstacles. Neuroticism is a fantastic tool for damaging any relationship, in either business or personal life. A certain amount of neuroticism is healthy (and normal in many circumstances–although there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to people and their personalities), but in the modern world where we need not be concerned about getting eaten by tigers so there’s little value in anxiety.

Failing Upwards

·3 mins
Survivorship bias often gets discussed as a cautionary tale. For example, someone might point out a person’s or company’s success, and another will retort with, “But that’s just survivorship bias!”. People don’t often discuss how to internalize survivorship bias in an actionable way. In other words: if you know that most people who win the lottery in some fashion (whether in business, investing, dating, or even the actual lottery) did so mainly out of luck, it doesn’t answer the question of how we can use this information to our advantage.

Thinking Slowly

·3 mins
In Daniel Kahneman’s pop psychology book Thinking, Fast and Slow, he describes the human brain as having 2 systems for thought: a fast system, which responds quickly to stimuli, and a slow system, which tends to produce more…thoughtful thoughts. This book was all the rage amongst thought leaders circa 2011/12 after being published, but if you missed out on it, don’t worry, Wikipedia has a tl;dr which tells you all you need to know.

Software Developers Aren't Special

·2 mins
Software engineers tend to be smart people. Writing software is hard, and it’s entirely a discipline of exercising your brain cells to write the correct commands to make the computer do what you want it to do. Add in the layers of complexity that come with dealing with humans who want software to do something without necessarily knowing or understanding precisely what they want, and what you end up with is a fairly complicated practice.

2022