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Postcard 26: Competition

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
3 min read

Hi from New York! Where the city is absolutely jam packed with people again.

I was strolling through the city yesterday, unsure if I should feel upset that the sidewalks are so packed that it's hard to walk again or be glad that New York City is roaring back to life. I felt pretty happy, to be honest.

In March of this year, I wrote a piece predicting that New York is far too resilient between entertainment, food, and culture not to survive the pandemic even if the office dies. I am just relieved to see I was right.


Peter Thiel is famous and infamous for his work, but this short article does the best job I've seen of explaining his philosophy concisely. His philosophy is believed to be rooted in the bible. Meant to get humans to escape competition with each other and instead look up.

Peter Thiel on Cain and Abel
A Theological Reading of Zero to One

This piece by the Head Mentor of Write of Passage, Charlie Bleecker, about the publishing paradox got me thinking quite a bit. She put into words what I sort of intuitively felt about publishing all along. Worth reading if you are on the fence about publishing more online.

The Publishing Paradox
The benefits don’t come from what you publish but from the simple act of publishing.

A few tweets that made me feel smarter:

I've been giving this advice to Write of Passage students the entire time now, to write about what you love until you love to write. The same holds true for code by the way. And I am incredibly glad to see the legendary developer John Carmack confirm my intuition on this and take it even further.


A small amount of success can become a ball and chain for people.

They take less risk because they don't want to embarrass themselves. They take less risk because they want so badly to maintain what they have—failing to realize that it was that risk of pushing themselves that got them that small amount of success in the first place.

If you don't allow yourself to fail and be a beginner, you'll struggle to get much further than where you currently are.

I've been thinking about this tweet quite a bit. How to go super niche and escape competition. How to build things others aren't thinking about building.


Meme of the week:

Software Engineers with their Architecture Diagram getting ready to build a large scale system.


This last week I published a short piece, rooted in Chess strategy, on adding so much value to the world that it has no choice but to put you in a winning position.


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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