How Will You Measure Your Life

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Correlation != causation (feathers and wings). Look at the anomalies.

Better theory of motivation: hygiene factors (incentives, compensation, pay, also things like lack of noise etc.) only make you not hate your job, but won’t make you love it. The opposite of job dissatisfaction is lack of job dissatisfaction. Job satisfaction works on a second scale – motivation factors. (Responsibility, power to make an impact and shit). Motivators arise from the intrinsic conditions of the work itself. Hygiene factors, like pay, are external to the work.

Once you start favoring hygiene factors themselves over true motivators for work, there’s no going back. Duh.

Clay’s children’s playhouse. Building it was fun, not having it. Journey is the point, not the destination.

Manager is the noblest of professions.

Life is filled with a mix of both deliberate and emergent strategies. It’s easy to get caught up in a strategy decided on, even when it doesn’t work, and shut our minds to opportunities that emerge.

It’s a waste of time to try to plan 5 years ahead when early in life. You gotta experiment with life and try different emergent strategies. Only when you find what you love, when you find a career that satisfies all hygiene factors and provides all motivators, it becomes worthwhile to be very deliberate and focused and set long-term goals and whatnot. Of course, even then you gotta keep your head open, just don’t let those emerging opportunities distract you too much.

When deciding between strategies, list the most important assumptions that must be proven right for them to work. (Disneyland story). The more important and the more uncertain the assumption is, the more essential it is to test it as cheaply as possible before fully committing to the strategy.

It’s hard to get it right the first time, but our success doesn’t depend on it.

SonoSite got the measure of success wrong. In the long-term, they needed to sell as much low-end devices as possible. However, all the salesmen were commissioned and they got paid 5x as much for the top-end devices. Pervasive paradox.

What you say is your strategy doesn’t matter until you implement it. Only how you allocate the resources will determine your success or failure.

Watch the resource allocation process closely. Do as you say.

Never give in to the instant gratification of the short-term gains, always do what will benefit you over long-term.

Gotta create boundaries for yourself

Bad money, good money. First: patience for growth, impatience for profit. Then: patience profit, impatience for growth. 3 steps for a company’s disaster.

You can’t sequence life investments. You need to invest in relationships (with your friends, with your kids, …) long before you need them. If you neglect, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need far more growth and profit in those relationships than they can handle.

Relationship between IQs and the number (and kind) of words spoken to a child in their first year of life.

JTBD. Morning and evening milkshakes, IKEA stories. V8 vegetable drink.

Kids hire school for 2 jobs: to feel successful and to have friends. Reforms don’t work, because the job parents and governments hire school to do are different from kids’ JTBD.

Scott and Barbara. The kids and dishes.

Miscommunication in relationships is easy, because we often “hire” each other for different “jobs”. We might even be selfless, but what we think she wants us to do might be different from what she actually wants us to do.

Sacrifice and commitment strengthen relationships. After all, if we invested so much, we don’t want the business to fail :)

Of course we want people we love to be happy. But understanding what our role is in it is the key. Ask the right questions to develop true empathy.

3 capabilities: resources (what), processes (how), priorities (why)

Dell and Asus – the danger of outsourcing. By outsourcing work to Asus (to save money and improve stats), Dell lost its capabilities (processes) to do the work by itself and enabled Asus to become a competitor.

It’s crucial to determine which capabilities must stay in-house and which are less important.

3 capabilities of the children. Danger of outsourcing the teaching and the experiences to other people. Parents give their children too many resources (experiences) and way too few opportunities to learn – develop processes (the skill to develop more skill, the knowledge to developer deeper knowledge). We should always challenge our kids and let them figure it out.

Two models of right people for the job:

  1. the right stuff
  2. experience

The first assumes that people just have “the right things” (the adjectives), like the US fighter pilots and that make them universally great fit.

It’s an expensive mistake.

What actually matters is not if you have wings and feathers, but if you’ve actually flown and in what circumstances.

Clay’s startup — the $2B/y manager from big enterprise or $30mil guy with no college degree (but actual experience ramping up small-scale production)

People often fail when they encounter their first major roadblock after a long string of successes.

Same thing with children — if we only try to boost their self-esteem and make them always succeed (e.g. give them ribbons and trophies for merely participating in a sports event), we don’t prepare them for real life challenges and failure.

You gotta figure out what skills they will need to deal with the real world, and then go backwards — find opportunities and create experiences where they can learn it.

Clayton’s friend’s 8-year old doing plagiarism.

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