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Circles of Success, Occam's Razor, & More

Sahil Bloom

Welcome to the 242 new members of the curiosity tribe who have joined us since Wednesday. Join the 57,887 others who are receiving high-signal, curiosity-inducing content every single week.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content,

just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

  • mldsa
  • ,l;cd
  • mkclds

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of"

nested selector

system.

One Quote:

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature." - Socrates

True wealth is found not in attaining more, but in discovering enough.

(Share this on Twitter!)

One Framework:

Circles of Success

In Wednesday's newsletter, I mentioned that a friend had recently asked me an interesting question:

"What do you think you're in the top 0.1% of the world at?"

As I wrestled with the question, I realized that one of the issues I was having is that it requires you to define a single arena in which you are in that elite class. I found that very difficult to do.

In reality, I was making a false assumption.

Rather than a single arena, your top 0.1% domain can be at the intersection of two or more arenas where you are in the top 1%.

I came across a framework from Dharmesh Shah, the billionaire founder of Hubspot, that captures this idea very nicely.

It's called Circles of Success:

  • Imagine all of the people in the world on a single large field.
  • Write down your first top 1% arena (or top 5% if you aren't feeling as confident in your skills yet). On the imaginary field, we place a circle around ourselves and all of the people that have this same top 1% arena.
  • Now write down your second top 1% arena. On the imaginary field, we place a circle around ourselves and all of the people that have this other top 1% arena.
  • Repeat this as many times as necessary if you have more than 2 arenas that you would characterize yourself in the top 1% of.
  • You're left with a set of circles that each individually have a large number of people in them, but the intersection of these circles is all we care about.

The intersection of these circles is where your unique edge exists. There may only be a handful of people in the world that have that same combination of skills.

Here's a clever visualization to bring this idea to life:

Visualization by Sachin Ramje

Your plane of competition is actually quite narrow when you identify the intersection of your circles.

Let's run through a simple illustrative example for me:

  • I think I'm top 1% caliber at three things: simplfying complex topics, building community, and connecting with people.
  • Indvidually, there are plenty of others that would fall into each of those buckets, but collectively, the overlap is very narrow.
  • So what can I be doing that requires the overlap to exist? Exactly what I am doing! Writing, recording, and sharing content with a large, growing global community that I can engage and connect with meaningfully. There are very few people in the world that are as well-equipped to do this as I am!

I'd encourage you all to try the exercise this weekend. Define the intersection of your Circles of Success and then build a world around it.

Reply to this email with your thoughts and I'll try to get back to as many of you as I can!

One Tweet:

Really interesting thread breaking down how the new Minions movie leveraged social media to execute a powerful box office debut.

Elon Musk said it well on the Joe Rogan podcast last year:

"Who controls the memes, controls the universe."

It seems like the new playbook for a viral movie launch is:

  1. Create movie
  2. Create some funny/catchy short-form content
  3. Seed content to distributed creators
  4. Hope and pray for meme to catch on
  5. Collect profits

The interesting line to follow will be whether Step 2 can be scientifically engineered to make Step 4 more likely to occur.

P.S. Now I want to go see the new Minions movie...

One Article:

Trying Too Hard

Great piece from my friend Morgan Housel on the dangers of expertise.

Four takeaway perspectives from me:

  • Occam's Razor: One of my favorite decision-making razors, it says that when you are weighing alternative hypotheses, the one with the fewest necessary assumptions should be chosen. Put simply, the simplest explanation is often the best one. Simple is beautiful. Remember this the next time you want to believe the answer to a problem is some extraordinarily complex chain (when there is a much simpler possible answer).
  • Outsmarting Yourself: Sometimes there's such a thing as being too smart for your own good. I have found that I underperform the average on things I consider to be my areas of expertise, simply because I overthought them. The "genius" stock market investor considers a million factors (inflation, rates, global uncertainty, etc.) and decides to sell everything, while the "amateur" buys broad indexes because the stock market has returned ~8% per year over the long run. We all need to learn to get out of our own way, especially when we're "experts" at a given thing.
  • Generalists vs. Specialists: Society tends to glorify specialists--experts who have gone deep in a single arena. But this creates a natural dilemma of inflexibility, whereby the expertise no longer matches the facts on the ground, and thus makes the owner incapable of navigating the new terrain. Generalists may actually be better equipped to survive and thrive due to an inherent flexibility in their knowledge base.
  • Incentives: Charlie Munger famously said, "Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome." He was absolutely right--incentives are everything. Always, always deconstruct the incentives of a situation that you're trying to understand. If incentives exist for someone to confuse you or act against your best interests, they will probably do it. Not out of malice, but simply out of nature.

This is probably a 5-minute read and it's definitely worth your time. It will make you think!

One Podcast:

Ryan Holiday - The Joe Rogan Experience

I'm not an avid Joe Rogan listener like many others, but when he has certain guests on the show, it's an auto-listen for me. Ryan Holiday is one of those guests.

So much gold here--three of my favorite ideas:

  • “We treat the body rigorously so that it will not be disobedient to the mind” – Seneca. This struck me as an ancient Stoic argument for placing yourself in environments of controlled chaos to train your ability to handle stress. Cold exposure is one example that has become in vogue. I'll be sharing more on my journey on this front with my Cold Plunge arriving soon.
  • Most great men are bad fathers. This idea was a punch in the gut, but clicked as they went deeper on it. I was left pondering whether it's driven by (a) the fact that great men are away from their children, or (b) the fact that the children grow up with undeserved entitlement. The other key is the "most" qualifier--nothing is absolute. I believe it's possible to strive to be great in a variety of arenas and not sacrifice your greatness as a parent.
  • Solitude is a lost art. Developing the stillness muscle is one of the best ways to stand out in a world of perpetual motion. Note to self: I really need to start meditating and breathing more.

Listen to it on YouTube or Spotify.

Circles of Success, Occam's Razor, & More

Sahil Bloom

Welcome to the 242 new members of the curiosity tribe who have joined us since Wednesday. Join the 57,887 others who are receiving high-signal, curiosity-inducing content every single week.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content,

just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

  • mldsa
  • ,l;cd
  • mkclds

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of"

nested selector

system.

One Quote:

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature." - Socrates

True wealth is found not in attaining more, but in discovering enough.

(Share this on Twitter!)

One Framework:

Circles of Success

In Wednesday's newsletter, I mentioned that a friend had recently asked me an interesting question:

"What do you think you're in the top 0.1% of the world at?"

As I wrestled with the question, I realized that one of the issues I was having is that it requires you to define a single arena in which you are in that elite class. I found that very difficult to do.

In reality, I was making a false assumption.

Rather than a single arena, your top 0.1% domain can be at the intersection of two or more arenas where you are in the top 1%.

I came across a framework from Dharmesh Shah, the billionaire founder of Hubspot, that captures this idea very nicely.

It's called Circles of Success:

  • Imagine all of the people in the world on a single large field.
  • Write down your first top 1% arena (or top 5% if you aren't feeling as confident in your skills yet). On the imaginary field, we place a circle around ourselves and all of the people that have this same top 1% arena.
  • Now write down your second top 1% arena. On the imaginary field, we place a circle around ourselves and all of the people that have this other top 1% arena.
  • Repeat this as many times as necessary if you have more than 2 arenas that you would characterize yourself in the top 1% of.
  • You're left with a set of circles that each individually have a large number of people in them, but the intersection of these circles is all we care about.

The intersection of these circles is where your unique edge exists. There may only be a handful of people in the world that have that same combination of skills.

Here's a clever visualization to bring this idea to life:

Visualization by Sachin Ramje

Your plane of competition is actually quite narrow when you identify the intersection of your circles.

Let's run through a simple illustrative example for me:

  • I think I'm top 1% caliber at three things: simplfying complex topics, building community, and connecting with people.
  • Indvidually, there are plenty of others that would fall into each of those buckets, but collectively, the overlap is very narrow.
  • So what can I be doing that requires the overlap to exist? Exactly what I am doing! Writing, recording, and sharing content with a large, growing global community that I can engage and connect with meaningfully. There are very few people in the world that are as well-equipped to do this as I am!

I'd encourage you all to try the exercise this weekend. Define the intersection of your Circles of Success and then build a world around it.

Reply to this email with your thoughts and I'll try to get back to as many of you as I can!

One Tweet:

Really interesting thread breaking down how the new Minions movie leveraged social media to execute a powerful box office debut.

Elon Musk said it well on the Joe Rogan podcast last year:

"Who controls the memes, controls the universe."

It seems like the new playbook for a viral movie launch is:

  1. Create movie
  2. Create some funny/catchy short-form content
  3. Seed content to distributed creators
  4. Hope and pray for meme to catch on
  5. Collect profits

The interesting line to follow will be whether Step 2 can be scientifically engineered to make Step 4 more likely to occur.

P.S. Now I want to go see the new Minions movie...

One Article:

Trying Too Hard

Great piece from my friend Morgan Housel on the dangers of expertise.

Four takeaway perspectives from me:

  • Occam's Razor: One of my favorite decision-making razors, it says that when you are weighing alternative hypotheses, the one with the fewest necessary assumptions should be chosen. Put simply, the simplest explanation is often the best one. Simple is beautiful. Remember this the next time you want to believe the answer to a problem is some extraordinarily complex chain (when there is a much simpler possible answer).
  • Outsmarting Yourself: Sometimes there's such a thing as being too smart for your own good. I have found that I underperform the average on things I consider to be my areas of expertise, simply because I overthought them. The "genius" stock market investor considers a million factors (inflation, rates, global uncertainty, etc.) and decides to sell everything, while the "amateur" buys broad indexes because the stock market has returned ~8% per year over the long run. We all need to learn to get out of our own way, especially when we're "experts" at a given thing.
  • Generalists vs. Specialists: Society tends to glorify specialists--experts who have gone deep in a single arena. But this creates a natural dilemma of inflexibility, whereby the expertise no longer matches the facts on the ground, and thus makes the owner incapable of navigating the new terrain. Generalists may actually be better equipped to survive and thrive due to an inherent flexibility in their knowledge base.
  • Incentives: Charlie Munger famously said, "Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome." He was absolutely right--incentives are everything. Always, always deconstruct the incentives of a situation that you're trying to understand. If incentives exist for someone to confuse you or act against your best interests, they will probably do it. Not out of malice, but simply out of nature.

This is probably a 5-minute read and it's definitely worth your time. It will make you think!

One Podcast:

Ryan Holiday - The Joe Rogan Experience

I'm not an avid Joe Rogan listener like many others, but when he has certain guests on the show, it's an auto-listen for me. Ryan Holiday is one of those guests.

So much gold here--three of my favorite ideas:

  • “We treat the body rigorously so that it will not be disobedient to the mind” – Seneca. This struck me as an ancient Stoic argument for placing yourself in environments of controlled chaos to train your ability to handle stress. Cold exposure is one example that has become in vogue. I'll be sharing more on my journey on this front with my Cold Plunge arriving soon.
  • Most great men are bad fathers. This idea was a punch in the gut, but clicked as they went deeper on it. I was left pondering whether it's driven by (a) the fact that great men are away from their children, or (b) the fact that the children grow up with undeserved entitlement. The other key is the "most" qualifier--nothing is absolute. I believe it's possible to strive to be great in a variety of arenas and not sacrifice your greatness as a parent.
  • Solitude is a lost art. Developing the stillness muscle is one of the best ways to stand out in a world of perpetual motion. Note to self: I really need to start meditating and breathing more.

Listen to it on YouTube or Spotify.