Lessons from Naval Ravikant | Eric Jorgenson on The North Star

 Check out The North Star Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  •  Be aware of the multiplying by zero effect: One bad variable that can ruin the whole experience 
    • E.g: You might own a beautiful restaurant with amazing food, but if the bathrooms are filthy and overflowing, you’ll have no customer
    • E.g: You have your dream job and dream company, but if your manager is a jerk and hates you for no reason, you’ll hate working there
  • “Impatience with action, patience with results”Naval Ravikant
    • Do that workout or write that blog post today, but don’t expect huge results right away
  •  “Hard work matters but it’s not the most important thing” Eric Jorgenson
    • You need to work smart and build some sort of leverage. Otherwise, you’re just working hard and going in a circle.
  • Naval is a fan of the iron prescription: Follow the most rigorous piece of advice and if you do it, you’ll be a level above everyone else
    • E.g: Read the foundational books in your field, such as Darwin’s Origin of Species if you’re studying evolution
    • E.g: Read The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham if you’re studying finance
      • “I’m going to make it through this thing and it’s going to be hard but once I do, I’ll be much more capable of kind of whatever comes next” – Eric Jorgenson

Intro

  • Eric Jorgenson, a Product Strategist at Zaarly and the author of the Almanack of Naval Ravikant: a guide to wealth and happiness.  
  • Host: David Perell (@david_perell)

Books Mentioned

Important Mental Models From Naval

  • Be aware of the multiplying by zero effect: One bad variable that can ruin the whole experience 
    • E.g: You might own a beautiful restaurant with amazing food, but if the bathrooms are filthy and overflowing, you’ll have no customer
    • E.g: You have your dream job and dream company, but if your manager is a jerk and hates you for no reason, you’ll hate working there
  • “Impatience with action, patience with results”Naval Ravikant
    • Do that workout or write that blog post today, but don’t expect huge results right away
  • If you want to get rich: Productize yourself
    • Figure out what you’re uniquely good at, and apply as much leverage as possible

Do The Hardest Thing First

  • Naval is a fan of the iron prescription: Follow the most rigorous piece of advice and if you do it, you’ll be a level above everyone else
    • E.g: Read the foundational books in your field, such as Darwin’s Origin of Species if you’re studying evolution
    • E.g: Read The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham if you’re studying finance
      • “I’m going to make it through this thing and it’s going to be hard but once I do, I’ll be much more capable of kind of whatever comes next” – Eric Jorgenson

Naval’s Advantage

  • Naval’s specific knowledge advantage is his knowledge around deal structures 
    • Naval had a falling out with a former business partner that led to a lawsuit and since then, Naval has been very careful about how he structures deals
  • Naval played a role in helping create the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) which let investors publicly solicit investments

Naval’s Twitter Strategy

  • Naval sees Twitter as a way to take notes and share ideas
    • Twitter also provides instant feedback and helps show Naval where he might be wrong
  • Since Twitter has a character limit on each tweet, it forces Naval to distill his ideas to its absolute core
  • Twitter is a great way of broadcasting a signal into the world and connecting with people 

Creating The Book

  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness was complied by Eric Jorgenson
    • Eric went through over a million words of Naval to distill the book down to about 200 pages
      • You can download a free online copy of the book here
  • The foreword was written by Tim Ferriss
  • The whole project started because he tweeted asking if anyone would be interested in a book that was a collection of the best advice from Naval
  • Creating this book has given Eric more clarity, confidence, and peace  
    • “You can’t really spend this much time with these ideas and not kind of take them in” – Eric Jorgenson

Working Smart > Working Hard

  • Working hard is important, but just working hard won’t make you successful 
    • The person who gets paid to dig trenches works hard, but they’re going to have to do the same thing tomorrow and the day after
      • “Hard work matters but it’s not the most important thing” Eric Jorgenson
        • You need to work smart and build some sort of leverage. Otherwise, you’re just working hard and going in a circle.

Additional Notes

  • There are multiple ways to become wealthy:
    • Charlie Munger prefers to not lose money and invest in companies that don’t change much
    • Naval prefers to invest in lots of startups that are trying to change the world because he knows he only needs one or two to hit a home run and earn a great return
  • Naval is a big fan of the cartoon show Rick and Morty
  • Startups are where quality and scale meet
    • If you have high-scale but low quality, you get McDonald’s
    • If you have low-scale but high quality, you get Ritz-Carlton 
    • If you have high-scale and high quality, you get an Amazon or Google
  • We often see ourselves as fixed and the world as malleable, but mostly the world is fixed and we are malleable

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Notes By Alex Wiec

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