No. 521 – April 23, 2023
Timeless ideas and insights for life.
The Winner’s Edge
“I think there are — there are plenty of players in history who have been immensely talented, but they’re — they’re just too pessimistic. They see too many dangers that are not there and so on so they cannot perform at a very high level.”
My incredible conversation with Ravi Gupta on why reality is undefeated.
“Understanding that reality does hit you every moment, and that not embracing it does have a cost, I think that’s really important and valuable.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the Steve Jobs reality distortion field. I think that’s actually been pretty negative, overall, to the start-up ecosystem. I think that people have heard that as “Steve Jobs didn’t embrace reality.” I actually think that his [perspective] was quite different. That was a representation of ambition. That was a representation of [thinking], “We need to be great.” I think that that was a representation of “I’m not going to be constrained by what someone tells me can or can’t happen.” He still was embracing reality as to whether or not people love the product. Right? He still was embracing reality as to whether or not it was selling, and things like that. I think one aspect is sort of reminding people that the Steve Jobs example, which is incredible in so many ways, you kind of have to dig underneath that. The reality distortion field wasn’t that he wasn’t listening to market signals. Right? It was that he was ambitious for his team: … “We can do better. We can do more.”
So there was this beautiful cabinet that he [Jobs] saw, and he loved it. He thought it was gorgeous. Then he looked around the back of it. And the back of it was plywood, and it was ugly. He was so offended by this notion that the front of it was beautiful and the back of it was ugly because someone’s like, “No one’s ever going to see the back.” He’s like, “No. I see the back. The back should be beautiful, too. If you want to try to make something beautiful, it should be beautiful from every angle.” If the purpose of this is [that] it’s supposed to represent craftsmanship and beauty, don’t go halfway and make the back ugly.”
— Listen on FS | Apple | Spotify or read the professionally edited transcript.
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
— Steve Jobs
One way to become luckier is to show up consistently.
When people trust that you’ll do what you say when you say it, not only will they want to work with you, but they’ll want you to be successful. You can’t build anything meaningful when you show up inconsistently.
In the short term, you are as good as your intensity. In the long term, you are only as good as your consistency.
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“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”
P.S. Flash mob … Beethoven.
P.P.S. This is a crazy stat.