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M&Ms #32: Memes & Motivation

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
4 min read

Hey Team,

I've decided to rename the newsletter to Memes and Motivation (M&Ms). It's got a nice ring to it. The Postcard, felt generic and this is something specific. This is the content I have naturally gravitated toward sending out each week and it feels good to be specific with you.

This week I have been thinking about, ironically, overthink. But I am guilty of a different type of overthink; I have realized that I have overthought my failures.

The truth is that the world is full of random events. People get lucky and unlucky all of the time.

And in this world, full of lucky and unlucky events, survivorship bias is a well-documented.

World War II planes coming back from battle, reinforced where the bullets hit them.

Survivorship bias is the idea that we don't know why we won, we think we know, but the truth is we could've gotten lucky. The above picture is used to demonstrate survivorship bias; planes from World War II were reinforced where the bullets hit them most, but those planes came back, so reinforcing them there is a mistake.

But the opposite of this survivorship bias is true too, failure bias. We think we know why we failed, so we dissect and do retrospectives on why we failed. But the truth is we have no idea why we failed because so much luck is involved. So it is unhelpful to rely on false perceived information surrounding our failures. Using that perceived information from failure is like reinforcing the spots of the plane that do nothing.

Because those same failures with a little more luck, maybe better timing, could've been successes.


Lets get into a few ideas I ran into from others:

Why I’m unreachable and maybe you should be too
You may have noticed it’s practically impossible to contact me. I did that onpurpose so I can spend my time how I want to spend it. I don’t really use emailand I have my private message inboxes on every platform closed. And they havebeen like that for years. I do read public tweets sent to me [https://twitter.com/levelsio…

I recently ran into this great article (it's from March of this year) by Pieter Levels. He is the guy that tried about 75 ideas to have about 5 of them stick. In this article, he talks a little bit about the perils of internet fame and how distracting it can be to deep work. It's worth a read.


scuba, panic, empathy | Derek Sivers
I thought panic attacks were for fragile hysterical people that can’t deal with life. I had never had one.

One of my favorite writers Derek Sivers, wrote a wonderful article this week with some deep lessons about how we can help each other in a panic.


Gergely has been shouting that Engineering salaries are flying up. And in all of my time in tech (10+ years) I have never seen engineering salaries move up and not have Data Science, Product, and Design follow them up too.

This, of course, impacts many of us; it impacts me in a Startup as I think about the sort of money we will need to raise to hire great talent down the road.


I like this tweet by comedian Ginny because it applies to companies too.

It gets you thinking, why is everyone's new company and job great but all their old ones bad?


I love this thread on Vertical SaaS, which is SaaS that goes deep in one industry only. It is SaaS that does not try to stay generic and do everything for everyone.

This, by the way, is exactly what the team at Nines and I are trying to build right now.


A few Memes from this week:

I really like this meme because no matter what you do and how much experience you have, perfection is difficult to impossible to attain: case and point.


The best way to deal with those fears is to run straight for them, chase them down and make them scared of you.


Thanks for reading and as always, my inbox is open; feel free to reply to this email if I can help in any way.

Have a great weekend,

Louie

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