379: Constellation Software, Shopify, Stripe IPO, Tiny + WeCommerce, IBM, Semaglutide, and Rick Rubin
"If you can’t steelman your opponent’s arguments..."
The number of good ideas you can get to through sequential logic is a very small subset of the potential good ideas out there. —Rory Sutherland
🐣↔🕰️ Anything that *has* worked is likely to seem obvious in hindsight.
But you don’t build things with the clarity of hindsight.
In the car of life, the windshield is always blurrier than the rearview mirror (ok ok, I know, that’s a cheesy analogy 🧀).
That’s why you should pay extra attention to how successful people describe how it felt at the time (though also be wary of our memory’s ability to re-write the past to fit a narrative).
Most of them seem to say that it didn’t feel obvious at all, and in fact, they had to fight against both the challenges of executing the thing itself *and* people around them doubting that their “weird little project” could even work.
It probably adds up to the need for plenty of self-confidence that you’ll figure it out somehow with a large heaping spoon of doubt about the specific way that you’ll get there.
🚨🗣️🎙️ In case you missed it, my 3rd interview with David Kim aka Scuttleblurb is out:
It was a lot of fun to record, and how can you not like that GIF of him dancing with his daughters? He really should start a Tiktok channel to appeal to a new readership!
🔌⚛️⚡️💡Speaking of podcasts, here’s a really good one for you. It’s between two friends-of-the-show, which is always neat:
The section about steel-manning the case against nuclear power was very interesting.
I think we could all benefit from using this technique more often. If you’re not familiar, a steelman is the opposite of a strawman — it’s the strongest possible version of an argument.
If you can’t steelman your opponent’s arguments, you probably don’t understand them well enough to know if they’re right or wrong.
For more from Mark, check out the two podcasts I did with him:
🥋My kid started Jiu-Jitsu. He’s only had three classes so far, but he loves it and talks about it all the time.
His membership gives him access to 2 classes of Jiu-Jitsu per week and 1 class of BJJ on the weekend. At first, we won't be able to do the weekend class because my other kid has a class at the same time, but eventually, he's likely to do some BJJ as well.
I have to give credit to Jocko Willink and his excellent series of Warrior Kid books. He’s really a good ambassador for the sport and weaves it well into his more general lessons about discipline = freedom, self-improvement, you win or you learn, helping others and leading by example, etc.