Michael Mayer: How To Be Great at Twitter, The Future of Identity, and Why Buddhism is Overrated – Venture Stories

Key Takeaways

  • Twitter Tips
    • Michael recommends people create anonymous accounts to share their ideas with the world without having to worry about social backlash
    • Carefully curate who you follow on Twitter – the information you expose yourself to matters!
      • Treat your Twitter feed like a garden and remove any weeds (information that doesn’t add value to you)
    • Don’t think of Twitter as a social network, think of it as a unique information feed
    • “The best tweets tend to feel like an epiphany”
    • The art of a good tweet is to compress knowledge in such a way that it reveals a certain amount of information in as few words as possible
  • An artist iterates based on their own feedback while a performer iterates based on the audience’s feedback
  • Good habits compound
    • If you exercise, it’s easier to stay focused
    • If it’s easier to stay focused, you’ll get more work done and won’t procrastinate
    • If you don’t procrastinate, it’s much easier to go to bed on time

Intro

  • Michael Mayer (@micjm) is the founder of Bottomless, a company that utilizes a smart scale to automatically reorder coffee for customers
    • Check out the Podcast Notes from his appearance on Invest Like the Best

Who is Michael Mayer?

  • Michael is the founder of Bottomless, a company that uses smart sensors to automatically reorder common household items (like coffee – but they plan to soon expand to other areas)
    • People are invisible to the “problem” of having to reorder common items/food around the house because it’s just something we’ve done forever
  • Michael runs several anonymous Twitter accounts – he started doing so because he wanted a creative outlet for his thoughts
    • If you think of something interesting, share it with the world – it makes you feel better and other people may find it helpful
    • “Twitter followers are really a form of capital”
      • The more followers you have, the easier it becomes to earn more followers

Twitter Tips

  • To come up with great tweets, have a wide information diet – Michael listens to a lot of podcasts
  • One of the best ways to get quality information is to heavily curate who you follow on Twitter
    • Treat your Twitter feed like a garden and remove any weeds (information that doesn’t add value to you) – Michael only follows 40 people on Twitter
  • Don’t think of Twitter as a social network, think of it as a unique information feed
  • “The best Tweets tend to feel like an epiphany”
  • If you aren’t sure if your tweet is 100% correct, tweet it anyway
    • Use Twitter to share ideas, get feedback from other people, and have them build on your original tweet
    • People tend to get judged on whether their thoughts are true or false, instead of being judged on whether their thoughts are interesting
  • Michael recommends people create anonymous accounts to share their ideas with the world without having to identify themselves
  • One person that has changed the Twitter game: Naval Ravikant
    • The art of a good tweet is to compress knowledge in such a way that it reveals a certain amount of information in as few words as possible
  • People should spend more time evaluating the content a person puts out, instead of evaluating the person themselves
  • Think of your Twitter account as a channel that provides people quality content
    • Take your audience and their time seriously, especially if you have a huge following!
      • Before you send out a tweet, ask yourself – Is this tweet going to be better than the average tweet readers will see on their feed?
  • The very best ideas feel contrarian, but really aren’t
    • Truly contrarian ideas won’t become popular because by definition contrarian ideas go against popular opinion!
      • When Michael tweets contrarian ideas they never get retweeted and are often ridiculed by people
  • If you water down your signal to noise ratio, people will notice and start to pay less attention to your tweets
    • They may not unfollow you, but they’ll unfollow you in spirit

Make Information Legible

  • If you can create technology that makes information legible, it’s likely to become super successful
    • LinkedIn made work experience legible
    • Yelp made restaurant quality legible
    • Twitter is helping make people’s quality information output legible
  • Michael believes that in the future, there will be a Black Mirror type rating system for people that shares their kindness levels and other personality traits

Thoughts on College

  • College proves credibility and shows that you can stick to something for 4 years straight
  • It’s been popular opinion to say that college is worthless in the past few years, but that just isn’t true
    • Colleges are outdated as information technology services, but they aren’t outdated as a social signaling device
  • If Michael was 18 again, he would try to get into the best university possible (as a signaling mechanism), but would’t go to class – instead, he would spend the time educating himself
    • It’s hard to fail out of college – even Harvard has a 97% graduation rate

Additional Notes

  • An artist iterates based on their own feedback while a performer iterates based on the audience’s feedback
  • It is much easier to remove bad habits than it is to add good habits
    • Don’t smoke, limit alcohol, and cut out sugar
  • Habits absolutely compound
    • If you exercise, it’s easier to stay focused
    • If it’s easier to stay focused, you’ll get more work done and won’t procrastinate
    • If you don’t procrastinate, it’s much easier to go to bed on time
  • “If the news is fake, imagine history”
  • Your life should be measured by the amount of good things you do for other people
    • If a Buddhist monk just mediates their whole life and doesn’t do anything for anyone – that’s an incredibly selfish way to live
    • Life is a multi-player sport and is only great because of all the contributions made by billions of other people
      • Buddhism views being busy as a negative, but some people are busy trying to change the world for the better
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