On: Systems, Levers, and Quixotic Quests.
Date: January 2020
Background: Internet entrepreneur (PayPal, LinkedIn), venture capitalist and author.
- System thinking and change.
- Archimedean levers: how to most effectively change the system.
- Multiple means: ideas, incentives, culture, leaders, institutions.
- Problem with elites:
- Not: presence of extraordinary people.
- But: incompetent people try to lock in their own position, prestige, and power.
- Importance of language.
- Core to who we are and who we become.
- How we form identity and community, how we see each other.
- Not everybody needs to be different or contrarian (Musk, Thiel) to move discussion forward.
- Entrepreneurs should write down:
- World view: vision of what the world is and will become.
- Idea: how their idea fits in with this world view.
- Ability: unique capabilities to make it happen.
- Big Tech.
- Once you become part of the social infrastructure, you need to be accountable.
- For instance FB (amplifies spread of negative stuff, increases overall agitation in society).
- Be a good competitor:
- Recognize when you need to compete (zero sum).
- Seek out non-zero games where possible.
- Permanent beta: learn and keep learning.
- Network validation: references (from knowledgeable sources) are more important than interviews.
- Tragedy: how we respond is the great question of how we derive meaning, what is our character.
- Education = certification, credentials = cheapest signals of talent we have at the moment.
- Mysticism = being more open minded, acknowledging uncertainty.