Reid Hoffman: Mastering Your Scale for the Unexpected – The Jordan Harbinger Show (Part I)

Check out the Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Your network is your networth
  • Your passion is important, but you should be paying attention to market realities
  • The ABZ Planning Framework
    • Have a plan A
    • Have “plans B”
      • These are slightly different paths/plans than plan A
    • Have a plan Z
      • This is something TOTALLY different than plan A
  • “It’s very important to learn as early as you can that you’re playing your own game in life”
  • Decision-Making Framework #1:
    • Know your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priorities
    • Then, try to make the decision only factoring in the 1st priority
  • Decision-Making Framework #2:
    • When confronted with a decision, ask yourself – “What would my decision be right now if I couldn’t gather any more data?”
    • Then ask: “What information would change my decision?” – like talking to person X or finding out if Y is true
    • Next – “Do I have the time and means to go and do the above?”
      • If so – do it
      • If not – make the decision
  • Risk is the probability of bad outcomes
    • Bad outcomes = loss AND gains that you miss out on
    • Many people care more about the former – we should think of risk in terms of BOTH

Intro

Build Your Network Early

  • “Networking will change your life, it’ll change your business, it’ll make you happier… every benefit that I’ve ever had has come from reaching out and connecting with people” – Jordan
  • “Everyone needs a network” – Reid
    • Whether you’re a high school student or a CEO
  • In college, you learn the most from the peers you surround yourself with – not your classes/professors
  • It’s great to think your work will speak for itself, but…
    • “Don’t just work on the product, work on the ‘go to market’ strategy'”
      • It doesn’t matter if it’s the best product out there – if people aren’t exposed to it, it doesn’t matter
    • It’s a HUGE world – you need a network to help you stand out from the crowd

On Following Your Passion

  • “I find that to be bad advice. We hear it from successful people, but you get this survivorship bias… We don’t hear from all the entrepreneurs who followed their passion straight into their mom’s basemen, never to be seen again.” – Jordan
  • In Reid’s first book The Start-up of Youhe discussed:
    • Your passion is important, but you should be paying attention to market realities
    • Ask yourself:
      • “What do the opportunities look like?”
      • “What does the competition look like?”
      • “Do I have a plan and the resources necessary for getting there?”
  • “It’s important to identify your passions, but also realize the best mach for you based on what the opportunity landscape looks like” – Reid

The ABZ Planning Framework

  • This is a concept from Reid’s book – The Start-up of You
    • Have a plan A
    • Have “plans B”
      • These are slightly different paths/plans than plan A
    • Have a plan Z
      • This is something totally different than plan Z
  • Aim to build this planning framework around your idea/passion
    • “Having a flexible planning framework that accounts for how you change, the changes in your knowledge, and the changes in the way the market is working is really critical”

How much of success comes down to timing?

  • It’s foolish to compare yourself to someone like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg
  • Luck and timing will ALWAYS play a role
    • This is why it’s important to have a flexible planning approach (planning for risks) in your pursuit of an idea 
  • Just know, that no matter what your background is – you can always make opportunities for yourself
    • It may be more difficult compared to someone who attended an elite university or lives in Silicon Valley, but it’s doable
      • “It may require 2x, 3x, or 4x the work – but that’s the way it is”
  • Never measure yourself against other people
    • Only figure out how YOU can do better
    • Play your own game
      • “It’s very important to learn as early as you can that you’re playing your own game in life”

Is there such a thing as too much data when it comes to making a decision?

  • “There’s almost always too much data”
  • Always be asking yourself – “What are the key things that would change my decision?”
    • Don’t try to integrate all the information – you’ll just get overwhelmed (and that overwhelm can lead to bad decisions)
  • Reid’s framework for decision-making:
    • Know your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priorities
    • Then, try to make the decision only factoring in the 1st priority
      • Ask: “What would this decision be if I only factored in my number one priority?”
    • Then ask:
      • “Why would I allow that choice to change? Which data would force me to change that decision?”

A Simple Decision-Making Technique

  • When confronted with a decision, ask yourself – “What would my decision be right now if I couldn’t gather any more data?”
  • Then ask: “What information would change my decision?” – like talking to person X or finding out if Y is true
  • Next – “Do I have the time and means to go and do the above?”
    • If so – do it
    • If not – make the decision

Intuition, Testing Your Ideas, and Pivoting

  • Where people frequently go wrong: They hold on to their intuition/idea too long
    • More often than not, you’ll have to give up on your idea – and that’s HARD for people to do
  • “Always get back in the game and keep playing… Don’t try to keep doing the same thing until it totally crushes you, you need to pivot and change. But staying in the game is how you win.
  • “You want to be asking yourself, ‘Should I pivot?” BEFORE the market hits you in the face with a 2×4″
    • And know that pivoting IS part of the game – it’s NOT = defeat   

Why is an honest life partner often the best source of ideas? (Find Your Inner Circle of Guides)

  • (Just like how Kevin Systrom‘s wife came up with the idea of photo filters for Instagram)
    • They don’t have their own ego invested in things
      • They can see both the strengths and weaknesses of an idea in a clear way
    • They have an investment in trying to help you
    • They have a communication channel which you trust
  • “Part of the meaning of life is seeking out these people. It’s not just a spouse, it’s your friends too. Seeking them out is SUPER CRITICAL. They’re worth more than gold, diamonds, and platinum. Those are the people who not only give meaning to your life, but also help you steer.”
  • The best inner circle guides care about the right outcomes for you (they’ll be honest)
    • “Their ability to stay true to being an ally to you is the really key characteristic”

On Risk

  • We take risk in everything we do
    • For example: If you’re contemplating leaving a stable job to start a business…
      • Obviously leaving to start the business is a risk
      • But so is staying put in your job (you risk losing out on the potential gains)
  • Risk is the probability of bad outcomes
    • Bad outcomes = loss AND gains that you miss out on
    • Many people care more about the former – we should think of risk in terms of BOTH
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