Productize Yourself

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Figure out what you’re uniquely good at and apply as much leverage as possible.

Transcript

Figure out what you’re uniquely good at and apply as much leverage as possible 

Nivi: You summarized this entire tweetstorm with two words. “Productize yourself.”

Naval: Productize and yourself. Yourself has uniqueness. Productize has leverage. Yourself has accountability. Productize has specific knowledge. Yourself also has specific knowledge in there. So all of these pieces, you can combine them into these two words.

Whenever you’re doing anything in business, if you’re looking towards the long-term of getting wealthy you should ask yourself, “Is this authentic to me? Is it myself that I am projecting?” And then, “Am I productizing it? Am I scaling it? Am I scaling with labor or with capital or with code or with media?” So it’s a very handy, simple mnemonic.

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There Are No Get Rich Quick Schemes

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Get rich quick schemes are just someone else getting rich off you.

Transcript

There are no get rich quick schemes

Nivi: We skipped one tweet because I wanted to cover all of the tweets on the topic of the long term. And the tweet that we skipped was, “There are no get rich quick schemes. That’s just someone else getting rich off you.”

Naval: This goes back to the world being an efficient place. If there’s an easy way to get rich it’s already been exploited. And there are a lot of people who will sell you ideas and schemes on how to make money but they’re just always selling you some $79.95 course or some audiobook or some seminar .

Which is fine, everyone needs to eat. People need to make a living. They might actually have really good tips but if they’re giving you actionable, high quality advice that acknowledges that it’s a difficult journey and will take a lot of time, then I think that’s realistic.

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A Calm Mind, a Fit Body, a House Full of Love

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When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place.

Transcript

When you’re wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking

Nivi: The last tweet on the topic of working for the long term is that “When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place. But that’s for another day.”

Naval: That’s a multi-hour topic in of itself. First of all I thought it was a really clever way to end the whole thing because it disarms a whole set of people who say, “What’s the point of getting rich?” Because there’s a lot of people who just like the status signal, virtue signal, against the idea of wealth creation or making money. So it was just a good way to disarm all of them.

But, it’s also true. In that the things that you really want in life, yes money will solve all your money problems but it doesn’t get you everywhere.

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Reject Most Advice

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Most advice is people giving you their winning lottery ticket numbers.

Transcript

The best founders listen to everyone but make up their own mind

Nivi: Regarding the guy who gets rich in five years, one of the tweets that you had on the cutting room floor was: avoid people who got rich quickly, they’re just giving you their winning lottery ticket numbers.

Naval: This is generally true of advice anyway, which is it’s back to Scott Adams, systems not goals. If you ask a specific person what worked for them very often it’s just like they’re reading out the exact set of things worked for them which might not be applicable for you. They’re just reading you out their winning lottery ticket numbers.

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Eventually You Will Get What You Deserve

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Apply specific knowledge with leverage and eventually you will get what you deserve.

Transcript

On a long enough time scale you will get paid

Nivi: We’re still talking about working for the long term, the next tweet on that topic is “Apply specific knowledge with leverage and eventually you will get what you deserve.” I would also add to that apply judgment, apply accountability and apply the skill of reading.

Naval: This one is just a glib way of saying that it takes time, even once you have all of these pieces in place, there is an indeterminate amount of time that you’re going to have to put in. And if you’re counting you’ll run out of patience before it actually arrives.

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Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

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Competition will blind you to greater games. You’re one step away from a better market.

Transcript

Businesses that seem like they’re in direct competition really aren’t

Nivi:  I think when you’re being authentic, you don’t really mind competition that much. Yeah, it pisses you off and it inspires some fear and jealousy and all the other emotions that come along with it, but also you don’t really mind because you’re more oriented towards the goal and the mission and worst case you get some ideas from them. And there’s often ways to work with the competition in a positive way and it ends up increasing the size of the market for you.

Naval: Yeah sometimes it depends on the nature of the business. Silicon Valley tech industry businesses tend to be winner-take-all. At least the good ones. And so when you see competition it can make you fly into a rage because it really does endanger everything you’ve built.

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Escape Competition Through Authenticity

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Competition can make you play the wrong game. No one can compete with you on being you.

Transcript

Competition will trap you in a lesser game

Nivi: This reminds me of your tweet about escaping competition through authenticity. It sounds like part of this is a search for who you are.

Naval: It’s both a search, and a recognition because sometimes when we search our egos, we want to be something that we are not. And our friends and family are better at telling us actually who we are, or looking back at what we’ve done is a better indicator of who we are.

Peter Thiel talks a lot about how competition is besides the point. It’s counterproductive. We’re highly memetic creatures, we copy what everybody else is doing around us. We copy our desires from them.

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Keep Redefining What You Do

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Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.

Transcript

Keep redefining what you do until you’re the best at what you do

Nivi: We just finished talking about the importance of working hard and valuing your time. Next there’s a few tweets on the topic of working for the long term. The first tweet is, “Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.”

Naval: If you really want to get paid in this world, you want to be number one at whatever it is that you’re doing. And it can be niche, that’s the point. It can literally be, you’re getting paid for just being you.

At this point some of the more successful people in the world are that way. Oprah gets paid for being Oprah. Joe Rogan gets paid for being Joe Rogan. They’re being authentic to themselves.

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Be Too Busy to “Do Coffee”

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You should be too busy to “do coffee”, while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.

Transcript

Be too busy to “do coffee” while keeping an uncluttered calendar

Naval: Then we squander our time with the death of 1,000 cuts. Another tweet I had was, “You should be too busy to do coffee, while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.” People who know me, know that I’m famous for simultaneously doing two things. One is having a very clean calendar. I have almost no meetings on it.

There are people that I meet with, when they see my calendar they almost weep, while at the same time, I am busy all the time. I’m always doing something. It’s usually “work-related” but it is whatever the highest impact thing is that needs to be done at that time and that I’m most interested or inspired about. But the only way to do that is to constantly, ruthlessly decline meetings.

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Work As Hard As You Can

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Work as hard as you can. Even though what you work on and who you work with are more important.

Transcript

Work as hard as you can

Naval: Let’s talk about hard work. There’s this battle that happens in Twitter a lot between, should you work hard and should you not. David Hauser’s (correction: David Heinemeier Hansson) on there saying, “It’s like you’re slave driving people.” Keith Rabois is always on there saying, “No, all the great founders worked their fingers to the bone.”

They’re talking past each other. First of all, they’re talking about two different things. David is talking about employees and a lifestyle business, which is fine. Your number one thing in life, if you’re doing that, is not getting wealthy. You have a job, you also have your family, you also have your life.

Keith is talking about the Olympics of startups. He’s talking about the person going for the gold medal and trying to build a multi-billion dollar public company. That person has to get everything right. They have to have great judgment. They have to pick the right thing to work on. They have to recruit the right team, and they have to work crazy hard. They’re basically engaged in a competitive sprint.

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