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✍️ Writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide.
Your weekly dose of new ideas & inspirations.
Hi & welcome to the post #118.
This passage from the FS Blog post is opening act today. It summarises lessons that most of us take years to learn.
Writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide. When your invisible thoughts are made visible, you are forced to confront them as they are, not as you wish them to be. You can’t simply take a few minutes here and there, get the gist of the problem, and expect to have clear thinking and unique insights. Good thinking, like good writing, demands patience.
So write more!
Here’s a what we’re covering today:
🎯 Product market fit
📊 Fixing analytics mistakes
🐒 Optimal foraging theory
🐜 The ants & the grasshopper
🤝 Making bids & setting boundaries
🛍️ Story of tote bags
And much more…
There’s a lot to cover, let’s get going.
1. Product Market Fit (PMF)
Sajith Pai’s presentation on PMF is a good primer on the topic. It touches upon most of the usual coverage on this topic. Two things that stand out for me:
On improving your GTM:
Iterate on Message, then Channel, then Persona and only then Product. Product and Persona are one-way doors; any change there has significant consequences
On the kind of problem to work on:
2. Fixing Analytics Mistakes
If you’ve struggled to get the best out of your analytics investment, Crystal Widjaja’s “Why most analytics efforts fail” is a good read. She details out:
Data Symptoms: The most common symptoms that teams experience when it comes to data issues.
Root Causes of Data Issues: The actual root causes of these symptoms.
Step-by-Step Process: What to track, how to track it, and manage it over time.
Her observations are relatable and recommendations actionable.
3. Optimal Foraging Theory & more
Paras Chopra’s “Why you will skim this article” is a fantastic example of great storytelling. The title may sound clickbaity. But, trust me, it's there to prove a point. The essay packages stories & ideas that are super enjoyable and will make you think.
Here’s the brief glimpse of what to expect:
Optimal foraging theory from evolutionary biology
Why does everything look the same?
And why everything is a remix
Finally, what should a creator do?
4. The Ants & The Grasshopper
Richard Ngo’s parable “The ants and the grasshopper” is first of the two LessWrong posts that I am sharing today. It starts like this:
One winter a grasshopper, starving and frail, approaches a colony of ants drying out their grain in the sun, to ask for food.
“Did you not store up food during the summer?” the ants ask.
“No”, says the grasshopper. “I lost track of time, because I was singing and dancing all summer long.”
The ants, disgusted, turn away and go back to work.
And then goes to define many worlds, each one evolving over the other. What a beautiful way to expand your imagination. And thinking. And make you aware of the unconsciousness that drives your way of doing.
I was reminded of ‘animal farm’ when I read this one. What did you think?
5. Making Bids & Setting Boundaries
Although it's tempting to think of trust in terms of grand gestures and big sacrifices, it typically requires many small interactions over time to build trust in a way that all the different parts of both people are comfortable with. I’ll focus on two types of interactions: making bids and setting boundaries.
That’s the premise of Richard Ngo’s post “Trust develops gradually via making bids and setting boundaries”.
He explains these two interactions in detail. He claims that we’re already accustomed to making ambiguous bids. It’s our natural tendency and we need to work with that to successfully establish trust. Setting boundaries concerns the way of reciprocating to these bids in a trust enhancing way.
I’ve seen these in action, but did not have a good articulation like this to explain them. You would have too, read it and find out yourself.
6. Light reads
Some interesting posts & essays from not so usual topics of interest..
Fantasy meets reality by Cabel Sasser.
Good design isn’t just beautiful and incredible and boundary-pushing, it also remembers what it means to be human.
The rise and fall of peer review - by Adam Mastroianni
Our tote bags, ourselves: How a humble bag became a humble brag. By Maija Kappler
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
Can a Lego car roll downhill forever? A great display of trial and error, repeated failure, iteration, small gains, switching tactics when confronted with dead ends, how innovation can result in significant advantages.
LOOSE ENDS’s mission - Sometimes things are left unfinished. We keep your loved ones close by completing the projects they’ve left behind.
Why does ‘Of course’ mean ‘Yes’?
The title of today’s post is from the passage from the FS Blog.
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.
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