Photo by by Grace Fell is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I listened to a short audiobook called QBQ!: The Question Behind the Question by John Miller. A terrible name to be sure, but nonetheless a book worthy of discussion. If Jocko Willink’s Extreme Ownership resonated with you, QBQ will resonate too.

Implementing Extreme Ownership reduced my desire to blame others. Not that I was going around blame others all the time. But even to the moderate degree I blamed others for things I thought was reasonable to blame others for, Extreme Ownership reduced even this tendency. Nothing takes the wind out of complaining quicker than owning up to everything. …


Image by Sean MacEntee

The 4-Hour Workweek (4HWW) is a classic. It’s far and away Tim Ferriss’ best book in the 4-hour series. One of my favorite 4HWW sections is Elimination. This section includes chapters about removing things from your life to make you more effective. Feeling inundated with news recently, I found myself re-reading the Elimination section. In this post, I’ll focus only on one chapter: “The End of Time Management” — Chapter 5.

The chapter felt so blissfully sensible, it made me wonder why I wasn’t already following all the recommendations. The end of the chapter contains a Questions and Actions section…


(Photo by Tax Credits)

Are you maxing out your 401k?

Most would answer by (1) googling for the 401k contribution limit, and then (2) check that their 401k payroll deductions equal the limit. For example, the 2019 contribution limit is $19,000. If you make $100,000/year you’d want to ensure that about $730.76 was being allocated to your 401k ($730.76 deducted per check, times 26 checks = ~$19,000).

What if you could put in 200% more than $19,000 for a total contribution of about $56,000? Of the many ways of getting there, this article outlines one: The Mega Backdoor Roth.

This technique requires level setting…


Every solution creates new problems.

Online dating has solved the problem of having a limited pool of potential romantic partners. However, online dating has also created a world where ghosting is normal, icing is more pronounced, and simmering isn’t just a thing you do with steak. The Paradox of Choice is in full effect on online dating markets.

Email has solved the problem of enabling efficient text-based communication between parties over arbitrary distances. However, email has also created a world where inbox zero is considered a rare accomplishment — an accomplishment that’s about as rare as finding a knowledge…


Okay, so here’s the situation: you’re in tech. You’re in high demand. Not only that, but you’re doing scores of interviews and chatting with lots of companies. What questions should you be asking?

From my time in the startup world, I found a number of questions to be useful when talking with startups. While these questions were developed with startups in mind, you can easily customize them for non-startups. My hope is that you’ll find some use in these questions no matter the type of company you’re talking to. Now, enough preface — on with the show!

Your questions will…


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Have a plan but expect interruptions.

Have a plan but expect changes in duration.

Have a plan but expect changes in objectives.

Have a plan, but don’t think of that plan as a conclusion; think of it as the beginning.

Have a plan, but don’t think of that plan as a law; think of it as a theory.

A theory sounds overly legit, so see your plan as a hypothesis.

You never had a plan for the day, you only had a hypothesis.

Things going in ways other than how you predicted is part and parcel of having, a hypothesis.

Remembering your plan is but a hypothesis is the sanest path in today’s fast-pace environment.


The above FightingMediocrity video introduced me to “The Slight Edge.” While I’m a fan of many of FightingMediocrity’s videos, this one had some sticking power. So much so, I was inspired to read the book (actually, listen—my eyes get tired before my ears). Having recently finished this book and its associated notes, I figured I’d share my summary and review. I hope you find it useful.

Summary

Surprisingly, the author, Jeff Olson doesn’t spend much time defining the Slight Edge. He gives plenty of examples, but absolutely skimps on the definition. Ergo, what follows is my interpretation. The Slight Edge…


Photo Credit: Byron Solomon

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~ Thomas A. Edison

Nielsen claims that weight loss is a common new year’s resolution. If you find yourself repeatedly setting this goal and repeatedly missing this goal, take heart — you’re not alone. While the causes for these failures may be multitudinous, there’s a single cause that’s omnipresent: a lack of education.

  • Instead of setting a single goal in the new year, you set eight of them. After all, what kind of bozo only sets one goal?
  • Instead of minimizing your carb intake, you gorge on pasta…

When dilution comes up as a topic in a startup, most people’s faces turn sour. Before trying to answer why that is, let’s answer *what* it is. According to Investopedia, dilution refers to “a reduction in the ownership percentage of a share of stock caused by the issuance of new shares.”

On its face, getting less ownership seems like it could be a bad thing. But, of course, things aren’t so straightforward. This post is designed to illustrate why.

To make our discussion as clear as possible, we’ll have a running example with XYZ startup throughout.

  • Startup: XYZ
  • Valuation: $10M


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People like to ask today’s knowledge workers what their 5-year plan is. Unless you happen to be a professor in a University, it’s unlikely that your 5-year plan will be something you can imagine. More than that, it’s generally seen as undesirable to have a 5-year plan you stick to. We needn’t look far to see this sentiment echoed.

  • Marc Andreessen has written that “career planning = career limiting”.
  • Marisa Mayer has stated that had she stuck to her 5-year plan from when she was 18, all the great things that happened to her would have never occurred.

If you…

Nwokedi C. Idika

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