Everything I know
Success comes from
not giving up
and doing what you love.
Figure out what you are uniquely the best in the world at because you just love it. And then just find out who or what needs that the most.
Doing what everybody else is doing feels like the safest thing to do. But it’s also the most competitive, which makes it the riskiest.
If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.
The trick with being confident, is accepting the results of an action or situation before it even happens.
A generally-preferable alternative to “worse is better” is, in my mind, “real artists ship”. (This is to say: availability is a prerequisite for adoption, while quality only ranks available options.)
All learning is dependent on feedback. The faster the feedback, the faster you can learn. Thus, in many domains, the individual, team, or organization with the fastest feedback cycle is the one that wins.
Explore the solution space before refining the solution. (aka 'Get the right design, then get the design right')
Pessimists sound smart. Optimists make money.
The single most important factor to success is the ability to make things happen. This requires determination, resourcefulness, focus, tenacity, confidence, a willingness to look like an idiot, and an ability to do the work when no one is watching.
Don't be impressed by money, followers, degrees, and titles. Be impressed by kindness, integrity, humility, and generosity.
Success is when reality catches up to your imagination.
Do lots of experiments. Fail fast. Learn from them. Move on.
Create an environment that tolerates and encourages failure.
What we find enjoyable at a certain intensity, duration, and frequency, we can totally hate at a different intensity, duration, and frequency. And vice versa.
Talk to your customers and keep building stuff! The simplest way to figure out what to build is just to ask people what would help them.
Convinced 95% of being successful is just finding people you vibe with.
My job is to remove myself from the critical path.
Since location and network have become mostly unbundled (in some circles), where you live is not as big of a (professional) decision as who are the 10-20 people you chat with most in digital space.
Most people forget that the goal isn’t money. The goal is to spend days as you wish.
If you are tired, learn how to rest. Not how to quit.
The older you get, the more you realize that much the world was build by people no more remarkable than you. The bar isn’t as high as you think.
Imposter syndrome never goes away. I work to reframe the conversation. I'm the prototype of my role. The only comparison I can have is myself on my best day. If I was able to perform well before, then I can do it again.
Success in anything is just a byproduct of learning, and learning is a byproduct of curiosity. Ultimately, if you are curious about something, you will be successful at it, and the more curious you are about it, the more successful you will be at it.
Life goal: Work hard, retire early, buy a small house in the south of France, drink wine, study math.
I'm not impressed if you're a good engineer. I'm impressed if you're a good teammate.
Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. If the moment comes, and you're ready, it will happen.
Don’t feel guilty about your privilege. Use it to lift others up.
There's a lot of power in regularly picking at the same problems for several decades. 3 traps: to get discouraged & give up, to lose the initial passion & check out, and to wrongly believe you've figured it out -- substituting a real solution with the idea of having found one.
If you like something, start talking about it. It will attract like-minded people: the best audience there is.
There are two types of people: 1) I worked hard to get to where I am. No one gave me any breaks, so you're on your own. 2) I worked hard to get to where I am. Now I get to unlock doors for others. If you're the second type, you're my people. 💙
So much of my growth as an IT person was "trying to put myself out of a job" by fixing things permanently. I just kept working on more and more advanced projects as my time freed up. So much in Enterprise has perverse incentives with managed providers where that doesn't happen.
Want to get ahead in life? Start genuinely rooting for others to succeed. It’s as simple as that.
Do you feel lost? Try creating. Could be code, companies, art, people. Creation brings meaning because it's what we were made to do.
Celebrate when your friends win.
Fear makes us fiction writers.
Just ask. It's the kind of thing everyone says "of course" or "that's obvious" to and then never do in practice themselves. I'm in my 40s and only seeing the true power now of asking for things, for help, for what you want. In business, in friendships, in romance, in all aspects of your life, when you ask, the response is most often Yes, Sure, Of course, Happy to help.
The ultimate hack in life is to simply be the person you're looking for.
The greatest privilege one can have is the option of only working with people you like, trust and respect.
Never let anyone’s opinions or comments influence how you view your own life and priorities.
Common behaviors that get rewarded in the workplace, but often are actually trauma responses: Perfectionism. Savior complex. Never saying no. Overwork. Burnout.
Things that don’t get encouraged by traditional workplaces/managers, but are still important for you to practice: Identity/self-worth that's independent of work. Trusting your instincts. Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries.
Unhealed workplace trauma can manifest as: Irritability, paranoia. Anxiety, depression. Difficulty with feedback. Poor boundaries. People-pleasing. Intense fear of failure (or success). Being drawn to more toxic orgs/leaders. Chronic guilt/shame.
The times I've done the best work in my career are times I've been able to fully connect who I am with what I'm doing. For anyone who needs to hear it: it is career suicide to let your soul die a slow death by suppressing anything unique you can contribute.
Google’s greatest evil is grooming brilliant 22 year olds into becoming complacent careerists instead of ambitious founders who might one day compete with them.
What looks like success is often just patience.
Being patient doesn't get you what you want.
It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.
You’re either a Zero or a One
How To Be More Productive
Death to Bullshit
Cities - Paul Graham
9 Minutes of Content That Allow for a Shift in Your Life
Elon Musk: How To Achieve 10x More Than Your Peers
Farnam Street Principles
Ask HN: What is your best advice for a junior software developer?
It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work
What was one thing that made you a faster/better developer?
Ask HN: 40+ Career Advice?
Wentworth Miller | Full Q&A (2016)
Ask HN: How did you decide what problems to solve in your lifetime? (2019)
Arnold Schwarzenegger Inspiring Speech (2018)
How To Be Successful (2019)
Play Long-term Games With Long-term People
How to do hard things
David Epstein on Mastery, Specialization, and Range (2019)
Joe Rogan Experience #1309 - Naval Ravikant (2019)
Keep Redefining What You Do
Jeremy’s Strategies for Becoming Excellent
What advice would you give your 23 year old self?
What you Believe Becomes Reality – Chris Do (2019)
Adam Neumann's 2017 Baruch College Commencement Address | WeWork
The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius (2019)
I coached 101 CEOs, founders, VCs and other executives in 2019: These are the biggest takeaways (2019)
How To Be Successful (At Your Career) (2020)
Almanac of Naval Ravikant
- Guide to Wealth and Happiness. (
Some examples of people quickly accomplishing ambitious things together
Ask HN: What has your work taught you that other people don't realize? (2020)
Ask HN: What were the things you did that made the biggest impact at your work? (2020)
Asking questions is a skill: Lessons from 10 years of Stack Overflow (2019)
The power of admitting ignorance
68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice
Be Good (2008)
Do the Real Thing (2020)
Ask HN: How to develop a growth mindset? (2020)
Sources of competitive advantage that you can generate simply by adjusting your own mentality
How to be more positive sum
30 Year Thinking (2020)
Blueprint I've followed to build my own business/income in ~4 years (2020)
Advice on making a living as an independent maker (2020)
Vector theory of impact
Some guiding principles for a good life (2020)
Build Personal Moats (2020)
Half-assing it with everything you've got (2015)
Getting Big Things Done (2020)
From McDonald’s to Google: How Kelsey Hightower became one of the most respected people in cloud computing (2020)
Consume Less. Create More. It’s More Fun. (2020)
Lessons from Ted Lasso Show (2020)
How Much I Earned in 2020 - My Best Year Ever
How to increase your luck surface area (2010)
Embrace the Grind (2021)
How to make impact on the internet (2021)
Patrick OShaughnessy's advice on life after turning 36 (2021)
Early YC Founders' Non-Linear Success on HN
4 behaviors of successful founders (2021)
Building a Mountain of Levers (2021)
- Leverage, from idea to application. (
- The big benefits of little changes.
John Danaher: The Path to Mastery in Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Judo, and MMA (2021)
How to be a better human
Old Guard vs. New Guard: How to best scale a team (2021)
10 ways to start developing your intellectual curiosity (2021)
The Mental Benefits of Being Terrible at Something (2021)
Advice to my younger self (2019)
Aaron Swartz: 7 Essays on Getting Better at Life (2012)
How to 10X your income in the next 4 years (2021)
Don't shrink yourself to make others happy
How to Work Hard (2021)
Ask HN: How to grow after 10 years in the industry? (2021)
The most precious resource is agency (2021)
Change your environment, change your life.
The unreasonable effectiveness of just showing up everyday (2021)
"Failures of Kindness"
- The most important question is how to be kind (to others and to yourself) more consistently. (
Beware of tight feedback loops (2020)
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Principles of Wealth
- Summary of Naval Ravikant’s tweetstorms and podcasts. (
How to be a successful athlete (2021)
Some reasons to work on productivity and velocity
Don't be afraid to start over to climb higher
10 threads to accelerate your career
Why Success Won't Make You Happy (2020)
How to consistently generate great work (2021)
How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably
Top execs hunt down feedback before people think to give it (2021)
Ask HN: How do I get over constant failure? (2022)