/Paul Graham

How To Work Hard tl;dr: "Working hard is a complicated, dynamic system that has to be tuned just right at each point. You have to understand the shape of real work, see clearly what kind you're best suited for, aim as close to the true core of it as you can, accurately judge at each moment both what you're capable of and how you're doing, and put in as many hours each day as you can without harming the quality of the result."

featured in #238


Crazy New Ideas tl;dr: "Most implausible-sounding ideas are in fact bad and could be safely dismissed, but not when they're proposed by reasonable domain experts." Paul advises us to listen and pro-actively encourage these ideas.

featured in #230


Write Simply tl;dr: "The main reason I write simply is that it offends me not to. When I write a sentence that seems too complicated, or that uses unnecessarily intellectual words, it doesn't seem fancy to me. It seems clumsy."

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Early Work tl;dr: "We just don't have enough experience with early versions of ambitious projects to know how to respond to them. We judge them as we would judge more finished work, or less ambitious projects." Optimism and imagination become urgent.

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How To Write Usefully tl;dr: The recipe for a good essay is importance + novelty + correctness + strength. Essays speak truths which isn't always received well, as they can often disagree with personal beliefs.

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The Lesson To Unlearn tl;dr: "Schools train us to win by hacking bad tests" so we can get good grades, but not learn. Good grades reward us in obvious ways. This mindset filters into the startup world, founders want to hack the system. This is correcting itself and that makes Paul optimistic.

featured in #165


The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius tl;dr: Collectors of old bus tickets "have an obsessive interest" in the their field. It's not rationale, nor driven by market forces. Paul argues that this passion is the sprout of what we consider "genius", and here he philosophizes how to leverage it into your career. 

featured in #163