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Network Effects, Detailed Dreams, & Updated Knowledge (Reading Notes 6.14.18)

Resource: Better together


How can refine my products/services in such a way as to make the experience better through the addition of others?

I like the concept of the network effect, but how can I tap into it or create it or implement it or capitalize on it without losing the value customers gain from personalized attention? Is there a way to convey that sense through the a network?


“An ideal project is one where the users are better off if others are using it too.”

“When in doubt, look for the network effect.”

Resource: Detailed dreams blind you to new means.


Don’t confuse your ultimate goal with your current roadmap for getting there. As life changes and new technologies come into being, it’s important to upgrade your understanding of all the different ways you can get there.

Make sure your methods, plans, and strategies are not outdated.

Exercise your creativity by making it a practice to look for new/different ways that other people go after the things they want. See what you can learn from this.

Don’t just pursue creative goals. Pursue creative means.


“We all have vivid imaginations. We get a goal in our mind and picture the path so clearly. Then it’s hard to stop focusing on that vivid image, to see what else could work. New technologies make old things easier, and new things possible. That’s why you need to re-evaluate your old dreams to see if new means have come along.”

“Some actors move to Hollywood hoping to get noticed. Others use every new outlet to make themselves unavoidable. Some authors are just waiting for a publisher to sign them. Others are getting rich just self-publishing. You need to distinguish between what is your real goal, and what are the unnecessary details. Don’t let the details distract you from your goal.”

“For each of your dreams, occasionally ask yourself what the real point is. Then look for a better way to get to that point. Let go of outdated dreams that keep you from noticing what’s here, now.”

Resource: Unlearning


Expertise can expire. As the world changes, so must your knowledge of it.

Don’t get too comfortable with your past knowledge. Always strive to learn new things and go to great lengths to update your knowledge of the world.

Listen to new people. Stay in touch with what people are asking, learning, and researching today. The things you need to know in order to create a new future are different from the things that got you to your present point.


“Doubt each old thing you know. Require current evidence. Make it prove itself to be true today. Otherwise, let it go.”

“For ten years I was so deep in my little world of CD Baby that I lost all perspective. I learned so much about the music business in the 90s, then spoke like an expert about it for years, until I suddenly realized that the world had changed so what I was saying wasn’t true anymore.”

“Since then, when I’m asked for my opinion about the music business, I just say, “I don’t know.” It feels weird to say that when someone is looking to me for answers, but I know my old opinions have expired, so I can’t trust those anymore.”

“It hurts to go from feeling like an expert to feeling like an idiot. But it’s crucial to go through that pain, or you’ll never grow.”

“This is a modern situation that’s here to stay. Technology will keep changing the world faster, so we’ll have to keep unlearning what we knew, and relearning anew.”

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