Recently, I started building an app, Gurgeh. Every week I learn something new (this is a common feeling among founders). So I decided to share my weekly lessons in the hopes that (1) I don’t forget them and (2) they help you on your own journey.
Last week, I talked about a specific way to solve problems.
This week, I want to look at things from a higher level. Here, we’ll talk about the principle that guides all my “problem-solving tactics.”
This principle says that everything that is not forbidden by laws of nature is achievable, given the right knowledge.
Learning this changed my life. And I believe it will change yours.
So let’s dig deeper.
My favorite book
In it, David argues that all evils are caused by insufficient knowledge.
“[Think of] all those civilizations who believed that their famines, droughts and disasters were divine punishment for their wickedness. In reality, it was just that they didn’t know enough (about irrigation, medicine, and so on).
If the ancient Athenians had known about antibiotics, or just about hygiene, they could have prevented the plague that contributed to the fall of their nascent optimistic society.” — David Deutsch
Civilizations starved to death? They lacked the knowledge of irrigation and farming.
Ancestors froze to death? They lacked the knowledge of making fires.
Millions of people died of cholera throughout history? They lacked the knowledge of boiling their drinking water.
I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes. This still applies to the problems our society faces today (e.g.: We haven’t found a cure for cancer/ solved global warming/ eliminated poverty because we lack the sufficient knowledge).
So remember, all evils — past, present, and future — are caused by insufficient knowledge.
On the bright side
If all evils are caused by insufficient knowledge, the other side of the coin says that the way to solve any problem is by acquiring the right knowledge.
“How does this apply to startups?”
Easy. Want your startup to get 10,000 users? 100,000 users? Or be written about in TechCrunch? Or raise a lot of money?
It’s all possible!
… If you acquire the right knowledge.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that anything is possible.
The last rule says that things still have to be bound by laws of nature.
What does this mean? That no matter how much knowledge you acquire, you’ll never travel faster than the speed of light, or be able to fly by flapping your arms really fast.
Outside of that, everything is fair game!
So, the next time you face a problem (whether in your personal or work life), remember these two little facts:
1. “All evils are due to lack of knowledge.” — David Deutsch
2. “Everything that is not forbidden by laws of nature is achievable, given the right knowledge.” — David Deutsch
Thinking this way has changed my life.
Sidenote: Also, it has helped me every single time I look at Gurgeh’s Trello board and think “how am I going to solve/ achieve this???”
Once you install this software in your head, I am sure it will help you too.
And that’s it for today!
See you next week.
Thanks for reading! 😊 If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.