Today I Learned

TIL, 2018-06-24: Chamath Day



  • People on the Growth team:
    • Very high IQ
    • Strong sense of purpose
    • Relentless focus on success
    • Aggressive and competitive
    • High quality bar bordering on perfectionism
    • Likes changing and disrupting things
    • New ideas on how to do things better. Applies to things far better than the work to be done: self-styled life hackers, people who find ways to maintain energy throughout the day, manage email, work out without equipment, and cook a better steak.
    • High integrity
    • Surrounds themselves with good people
    • Cares about building real value

13 Surprising Facts About Top VC Investor Chamath Palihapatiya


  • Wealth: A bridge to a more meaningful, long-term, largely unrealistic goal that can keep you focused, grounded, and helpful to others.
  • “It’s easy to get distracted. Everyone thinks we are better than we actually are. Be humble and honest about the fact that more is left to do than has already be done. Keep moving quickly and don’t get bogged down in the things that don’t matter.”
  • Questions he asks himself:
    • How many days did I do the things above?
    • How many days did I just give into the norm vs push back?
    • How many days was I happy? Like really happy, not fake, cosmetic happy.
    • How many days did I give up what I really wanted because someone else’s marginal validation tricked me from focusing on the bigger picture?
  • Books
    • Liar’s Poker
    • The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King
    • Fermat’s Enigma


  • Product Management From First Principles
    • Boil things down to the fundamental truths, and say, “what are we sure is true”, and then reason up from there.
    • Make sure you understand the fundamental principles before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.
    • Right problem to solve
      • TG: Desire to save time that is spent on increasingly complex business operations.
      • Users looking to use TG want to be in control and have more certainty about their operations. The designs took this context seriously and ensured clear error messages, graceful failures, and better navigations within the process.
      • 3 layers of conversation: Is this product useful? Is this product usable? Is this product desirable?
      • It becomes “When I blank, I want to blank, so I can blank.
  • Here’s how we’re moving to product-led growth and why you should do the same
    • Product engagement is a funnel: business to business platform to give users an online, private store.
    • “You are only 3 steps away from saying goodbye to spreadsheets!”
    • When starting out: focusing on getting users to either start setting up or to kick off a tour.
    • The “it’s just 40 seconds” is so important.
    • “Customers integrate with online stores!”

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