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Idea Journal Weekly 3

March 20 · Issue #235 · View online

We combine 3 ideas to help you think differently and be more creative.


Summary: Would you pay a premium for an average product? You should view yourself and your work with the same lens. This issue shares three ideas to help.
(~3 min read)

#1. Not all value is created equal—take the initiative
Author and marketing guru Seth Godin writes on his blog that there are three ways for you to add value, “but one of them is more prized than the others”: 
1. Tasks: these are incoming, and often set up for you. Your effort and skill allow you to tackle tasks one at a time, and then move to the next one.
2. Decisions: these often overlap with tasks. Multiple options are available, and you use your knowledge and judgement to pick the best one.
3. Initiation: this is an act of creation — when you break the pattern, take the leap, and create something new.
As Godin puts it, when we think about people who have made meaningful change happen, and organizations that have made a difference, it begins with initiation.
What value did you create yesterday? And tomorrow?
#2. How can you be "hard to compete with"?
Entrepreneur and investor Sam Altman writes on his blog that most people understand that companies are more valuable if they are hard to compete with.
As Altman puts it, what may be less obvious is that this is also true for individuals: “If what you do can be done by someone else, it eventually will be, and for less money.”
For Altman, the best way to become hard to compete with is to build up your individual leverage. For example, you can do this through relationships, by creating a strong personal brand, or by getting good at the intersection of multiple fields, among other strategies.
Most people do whatever most of the people they hang out with do. But this is usually a mistake: “if you’re doing the same thing everyone else is doing, you will not be hard to compete with.”
#3. Use tools to scale yourself
Writing on Twitter, entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant’s advice for getting rich, without depending on luck, is to “productize yourself.” 
For Ravikant, the first step to productizing yourself is to figure out what you’re uniquely good at: “Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.”
Once you know the type of work that suits you, Ravikant recommends applying as much leverage as possible to scale your efforts. 
There are many types of leverage, but to productize yourself as an individual, he suggests using software and media. That’s because they have “no marginal cost of replication" – they can work for you while you sleep. 
As Ravikant points out, an army of robots packed in data centers is freely available, and you should use it. If you can’t code, write blogs and books, or record podcasts and videos.
Quote of the week
“Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable.”
- Author and cartoonist Scott Adams on his blog
Idea Journal
Idea Journal
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