Downscoping Deliverables

Tiago Forte’s JiT PM series is perhaps the most paradigm shifting piece I’ve read this year.

I’m sure I’ll write about multiple of the concepts presented, but the one of downscoping deliverables was the most immediately usable for me.

Most of us think of a project in terms of it’s end result.

But what about all the intermediate deliverables? How can you downscope the end result and then expose it to others for feedback?

For example: if you want to write a book, first write a blog post, but even before that, write an outline. Put that outline on Twitter as a tweetstorm and get feedback on it.

In the best case, you’ve done work you needed to anyway and got confirmation that it is something people want.

In the worst case, people don’t want it and you’ve saved yourself time and effort down the line.

And on a psychological level, a smaller deliverable makes it much more likely that you’ll actually get it done.

Writing a book is a big task.

So big that you might just put it off forever.

But a tweetstorm? You can get that done today.

Starting a Podcast Resources

We will be starting off with Cast and Auphonic. If multiple guests need to record from a phone, we’ll switch to Ringr. If Auphonic ends up not producing sufficient audio quality, we’ll find an audio engineer.

The Wrong Horse

I’m currently exploring the Theory of Socionomics, which is quite the mind-bender.

Traditional thinking says that the public’s mood is determined by the actions that have occurred (the horse pulls the cart). Socionomics says that actions are the wrong horse and that mood actually leads actions. 

Most people think that recessions make businesspeople cautious. Socionomics says the opposite: Cautious businesspeople make recessions. So, the mood is the cause, and the event is the result.
– Robert Prechter Jr.

Where else in life do we have the wrong horse?

Life Hacks

Defined as “something that once known dramatically increases the efficiency and effectiveness of a certain process”.

Do they exist for everything?

Certainly there are hacks for getting into college, getting jobs, losing fat, gaining muscle, trading, and dating. These are the ones that I know.

But what about BJJ?

Does “just keep showing up” count?

On Enjoyment and Fulfillment

What makes one thing more enjoyable and fulfilling than another?

Personally, I don’t think I’ve found anything that qualifies as fulfilling. Or perhaps what I’ve felt before (what I would say is “enjoyment”) is what others say is fulfillment.

But video games are enjoyable too. If I had all of my other needs taken care of, would I be able to play video games all the time? I honestly don’t know.

I chose computer science because I saw it as the highest leverage point for helping others. But I’ve never experienced fulfillment while doing that work.

Trading is enjoyable, so is theoretical physics. Will using computer science to help others result in fulfillment at the sacrifice of enjoyment over the other two?

I guess there’s only one way to find out…


Candlesticks are the most widely used method of looking at financial time series data.

So widely used, in fact, that it is sometimes easy to forget that the map is not the territory. Candlesticks are just one transformation of the underlying data that happens to be easy for humans to digest. But a computer can digest the raw tick data even better than the candlestick representation.

We often think that our view of reality is reality itself. But the process of evolution filtered for survival and reproduction. We only see (and hear, touch, smell) a reality that is limited by the evolutionary need for efficiency.

Consistency Over Intensity

Yesterday I watched Firas Zahabi on the Joe Rogan Experience.

The most interesting segment of the episode was Firas talking about how one should never be sore after working out. Being sore reduces your motivation and can prevent you from working out the next day. In the long run, if you train every day with a bit less intensity, you will get more reps in than someone who trains less but with higher intensity.

This concept has also been brought up by BJ Fogg when discussing habit formation. He says that, for example, if you want to create a habit of flossing, you should just floss one tooth to start out. Make it so easy that you can definitely do it every day. If you want to meditate, your goal is to meditate for 1 minute every day.

Where in your life are you making the mistake of choosing intensity over consistency?

We Are Already Cyborgs

Our use of technology has undoubtedly changed our brains.

Because of Evernote and Things, my brain is free from having to store all of the information that I have offloaded onto those tools. And with Google, anything in the long tail of knowledge and not requiring time-sensitive application can be safely forgotten.

But these changes are not all for the better.

Endless push notifications have trained us to seek that dopamine hit that comes from the ping and vibration in our pockets. We have lower attention spans because of the entertainment available at all times. Social media has us looking at the experiences that we have through the lens of whoever will see what we capture.

Every technology you use effects you. Choose carefully.

Why Bitcoin Will Win

Lindy Effect – Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency.

Tyranny of the Intolerant Minority – Bitcoin Maximalists will use Bitcoin but no other altcoins whereas Altcoiners will use both altcoins and Bitcoin. 

Network Effects – Bitcoin has the most developers and users by far.

Illegibility – Bitcoin, while not being “elegant” (synonym for legible), is the simplest system that works. From that, complexity can be added on top according to the needs of the community.

Prioritizing Health

I’ve been sick in bed the past two days and it’s been miserable.

But it did serve as a stark reminder that without your health, you can’t do much else.

80/20 Actions for Good Health:

  • Sleep
    • Room as dark as possible
    • Same bedtime every night
    • No electronics 1 hr before (or use blue-blocker glasses)
  • Eat
    • No sugar, bread, industrial oils
    • Only eat when the sun is up
    • Large salad and fresh fruit every day
  • Move
    • Walk as much as possible
    • Lift heavy
    • Sprint