Hey all! Madison here from Memberful. Recently, I listened to an interesting discussion between Ben Thompson, Naval Ravikant, and Sahil Lavingia about the realities of being a creator in today’s economy. If interested, you can listen here:
I thought I would share some of the notes and quotes from the first 30 minutes of this conversation with you all! I’m curious, what points resonate most with you all?
6:40 - Passion is the result of getting good at something. Most people think passion comes first, but what Ben argues is that often, covering a topic or doing something unique and getting really good at it cultivates passion and therefore opportunity.
8:50 - Have a tinkering mentality when it comes to business. Be willing to be an early adopter when trying out new platforms, mediums and topics you cover. - Naval
9:00 - How to find a worthwhile endeavor: Find what feels like play to you, but looks like work to others. If it’s work to others, it becomes easier to monetize and outcompete others. - Naval
10:15 - Being yourself is the ultimate differentiation. There is only one you. - Ben
10:30 - Common trap: Do we focus on our strengths or fix our weaknesses?
Ben: We often think that work/subjects/tasks that are most difficult to us are what we should focus on. When in fact, it can be the opposite. Things that interest and come naturally to us tend to be the things we excel at.
Naval: Continue to find weak points within your strengths.
Even when you double down on your strengths, you wanna go to the things you are strong at and then find the hardest things in that domain so you get even stronger. If you are reading a book that’s difficult and you are confused, if it’s something you are interesting in you will keep rereading it until you understand.
14:08 - Focusing on the future is often a distraction.
Ben: Many people get distracted by about where they want to go, and they don’t take full advantage of the spot that they are in. They often look back and wish they would have spent their time better.
Naval: Don’t waste your time trying to predict the future. The only moment of power and knowledge is the present moment. It’s ok to have goals and plans, but hold them loosely, otherwise you will miss the current reality. Reality is very fluid and complex. It’s much more about navigating from the small set of options presented to you.
Ben: Have a long term goal to give you a way to think about your immediate options. Know your general direction.
15:30 - Problem with asking people why they became successful. It almost forces them to lie, because you look back and connect the dots and convince yourself it all almost happened on purpose. People tend to not remember what it was like to not know where they were going. - Sahil
18:00 - How to get started as a creator: Start writing and put your thoughts out there. This is a universal truth among all creators. Constantly try things and reiterate. Be prepared to try even hundreds of ideas before one sticks. - Sahil
19:17 - To be a good creator, you must be creative. To be creative, means you are constantly creating things. Creativity is who you are and what you do. - Naval
“It’s conjecture plus criticism that drives science.” - David Duetch
To be a creator is to create and try a lot of things, get feedback from the world, you see what works and stick with that. No shortcut in this process. - Naval
21:00 - Put in 100 hours. Many people like the idea of being a creator (painter, author, etc) but few people are willing to put in even 100 hours. - Sahil
22:00 - To be human is to be creative, the problem is that many of us lose our creative streak. This can be because of the drudgery of our jobs, or in school, because we get too busy, are too afraid. Everyone is curious about something. - Naval
23:00 - What is the creator economy. The creator economy in an onramp to self-employment. - Sahil
When it comes to your passions, hobbies, and the things you like to do. Think about your relationship to it. Instead of consuming the thing you like to do, think about how you can create value and contribute to others also into the same thing.
Creative vs consumption. Contribution vs consumption. Instead of consuming the thing you like, how can you shift that into creation? - Sahil
24:00 - Work/life balance is non-sense. To be a true creator, you have to obsessed with your interests. Work/life balance isn’t even really a thought. - Ben
Work should be fun. It takes just as much effort to get good at, say, a video game to start a company. - Naval
You want to get a point where you don’t dread Mondays.
Getting into a mode of work where it is your life, rather that something that causes suffering and feels like something you want to do. Think about where you are putting your effort. - Naval
28:15 - The economy has always been the creator economy.
The creative people are the ones that get to run things and get paid the most. It’s just that there has been very few of them. But now, the number of creators we can support is broadening thanks to the internet. In any endeavor, there are creators. - Naval
29:35: The average size of firms are shrinking, it’s getting closer and closer to 1. - Sahil
29:57: Leveraging your day job to pursue/monetize your passions.
If you’re in a job that pays the bills, you are at an advantage when it comes to pursuing and monetizing your passion. You don’t have to worry about costs, they are already taken care of. The trick is to find jobs that gives you room to pursue your passions at night. - Ben