No. 488 — September 4th, 2022
Brain Food is a weekly newsletter full of timeless insights.
“Since focus requires saying no, it also means really smart people and good competitors are saying no to really good ideas. If you’re a person trying to find your way in an organization, it’s worth thinking about the most focused people around you and the best idea they’re not working on. If you’re a company, it’s worth thinking about what your best competition is not doing.”
Clear writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide.
“The funny thing about teenagers is that very often the best of them, the most interesting and curious, are rather lousy high school students. They have other things on their minds than geeking out every single point on the AP U.S. history exam. They are very often readers, and preparation for elite-college admission does not allow one to be a reader; it’s far too time consuming. These “lousy” students were often among my favorites, and I never feared that they were going to lose a chance at a great education because they didn’t have the stuff of an “elite” admission. They themselves were smart. They didn’t need some Ferrari of a college nudging them along the path to a great education; they were going to get one wherever they went.”
“The problem isn’t that you’re too busy. You are too busy, but that’s not the problem. If you view being busy as the problem, there is no solution. You will always be too busy, and that will never change. As Andy Grove once noted: “A manager’s work is never done. There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.” The problem is that you’re acting like a firefighter instead of a fire marshal.”
P.S. Tooth enamel is surprisingly strong.