A Personal Bible is a collection of your favorite writings. The kind of content you want to remember and make a part of your daily life. You know that feeling when you’ve recently read some great essay, but when you explain it to a friend, you’re only able to give her a vague, handwavy description? That’s why I created this document – so I could know deeply and even memorize the text content that’s most affected me.
Below is the stuff I’m reading lately – a lot of re-reading, actually – which I’ve now added into the document. Here’s a PDF of mine. Hope you can be inspired to save more of your own favorites and create one yourself!
Jason Lemkin’s advice on content marketing [link]
From Scott Adams’s How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big book
You might not think you’re an early-morning person. I didn’t think I was either. But once you get used to it, you might never want to go back. You can accomplish more by the time other people wake up than most people accomplish all day.
Bill Gates famously found ways to hone his technical skills by stealing time on a mainframe. Jobs and Wozniak’s first product involved technology that allowed people to steal long-distance phone calls. Where there is a tolerance for risk, there is often talent.
One of the best ways to detect the x factor is to watch what customers do about your idea or product, not what they say. People tend to say what they think you want to hear or what they think will cause the least pain. What people do is far more honest. For example, with comics, a good test of potential is whether people stick the comic to the refrigerator, tweet it, e-mail it to friends, put it on a blog page, or do anything else active.
Positivity is far more than a mental preference. It changes your brain, literally, and it changes the people around you. It’s the nearest thing we have to magic.
From Paul Graham’s essays
“Don’t be evil” may be the most valuable thing Paul Buchheit made for Google, because it may turn out to be an elixir of corporate youth.
The idea of starting a company with benevolent aims is currently undervalued, because the kind of people who currently make that their explicit goal don’t usually do a very good job.
If I were running a startup, this would be the phrase I’d tape to the mirror. “Make something people want” is the destination, but “Be relentlessly resourceful” is how you get there.
How To Make Wealth
There is a conservation law at work here: if you want to make a million dollars, you have to endure a million dollars’ worth of pain.
In industrialized countries, people belong to one institution or another at least until their twenties. After all those years you get used to the idea of belonging to a group of people who all get up in the morning, go to some set of buildings, and do things that they do not, ordinarily, enjoy doing.
I think everyone who gets rich by their own efforts will be found to be in a situation with measurement and leverage. Everyone I can think of does: CEOs, movie stars, hedge fund managers, professional athletes
What made the Florentines rich in 1200 was the discovery of new techniques for making the high-tech product of the time, fine woven cloth. What made the Dutch rich in 1600 was the discovery of shipbuilding and navigation techniques that enabled them to dominate the seas of the Far East.
Number of users may not be the perfect test, but it will be very close. It’s what acquirers care about. It’s what revenues depend on. It’s what makes competitors unhappy. It’s what impresses reporters, and potential new users.
Hiring is Obsolete
It’s hard to judge the young because (a) they change rapidly, (b) there is great variation between them, and (c) they’re individually inconsistent.
How Not To Die
When startups die, the official cause of death is always either running out of money or a critical founder bailing. Often the two occur simultaneously. But I think the underlying cause is usually that they’ve become demoralized.
As long as you’ve made something that a few users are ecstatic about, you’re on the right track. It will be good for your morale to have even a handful of users who really love you, and startups run on morale.