Friday Finds (Parties, Horses, Christianity, Music, Lies)

Read in your browser here.

Hi friends,

The enrollment window for Write of Passage opens in 10 days. This cohort, we've made three promises to students. You'll (1) publish quality ideas, (2) find your people, and (3) 2x your potential. If you want to become a better writer and build an online audience – we'll show you the way.

Click here and I'll send you information about the upcoming cohort.

Here's what I want to share this week:

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Online: At 17,000 words, my newest article is by far the most comprehensive thing I've written about online writing.
  2. I'm Hiring a Chief of Staff: If you want to start your own company someday, this role is the best training you can get. We have multiple years of financial runway, and by the end of the month, we'll have a full-time team of 15 people. You'll work directly with me to scale the business and launch our next product: an online writing program for high schoolers. Apply here.
  3. Pick a Theme and Stick to It: When you write, it helps to center your piece around a core theme. Writers often add complexity in an effort to make ideas more dynamic when they should simplify ideas to make them more memorable instead. My favorite example is "Snakes on a Plane." It tells the viewer so much about what they’re going to watch, and it adds suspense without spoiling the plot.

Today's Finds

Mr. Beast's Obsession: Mr. Beast was so obsessed with YouTube that he talked growth strategy with friends on Skype every day for more than 1,000 days. By the end, everybody in the group had more than 1 million subscribers. Nobody thought Mr. Beast would be a standout success. Growing up, he skipped class, got bad grades, and didn't do his homework. That group was his priority: “We were very religious about it… they say 10,000 hours to master something, but we probably put in 40,000-50,000 hours." If there's a North Star for my work, it's to identify people like Mr. Beast (10 years ago) who are obsessive, but lack direction. They feel nobody shares their obsessions, so they keep them private to avoid being teased. I want to show them the path to success.

Parties for People Who Don't Throw Parties: Making new friends gets significantly harder after college, especially if you work remotely. Sharing ideas in public has always been my go-to strategy for meeting people, but Nick Gray has another idea: host a small party or happy hour. Socially, he's one of the most creative people I know. He founded and sold a company called Museum Hack, which brought hilarious tours to stuffy museums. His parties are always well-run, simple, and structured. We don't even drink much alcohol (Nick doesn't drink). Nick is the party master, and this book is his playbook for hosting one. It's written for people who don't throw parties, and provides a step-by-step playbook for inviting guests, welcoming them, and ensuring they have a good time.

Predicting Horse Races: When it comes to predicting the future, too much information can be a bad thing. This transcript tells the story of a world-class psychologist named Paul Slovic, who showed in 1974 how horse gamblers can deceive themselves as information increases. Substitute horse gamblers with investors, and this article becomes even more interesting. (If interested in further predictions, check out Dominic Cummings’ review of Superforecasters).

Preference Falsification: One of my favorite ideas from Timur Kuran. It comes from a book called Public Truths, Private Lies (here’s a written summary and a podcast about it), where Kuran shows how people lie about their beliefs to look good in social situations. As Martin Luther King once said: “Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideas hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.” Once you learn about preference falsification, you’ll start seeing it everywhere. For more ideas like this, here’s a list of 50 that shaped my worldview.

Richard Wagner: I’ve always been familiar with Richard Wagner’s music, but only recently did I begin to understand its tense history. At once, Wagner’s work set the stage for the kinds of dramatic movie scores you see in movies like Interstellar. His music wasn’t just sound. It was theater. But at the same time, his work has always been associated with antisemitism, in part because he was Hitler’s favorite composer. But that’s what makes him such a fascinating person to study. As the music critic Alex Ross said: “With Wagner, you never leave reality, and everything sublime and magnificent and moving in Wagner is inseparable from this corruption, this darkness, this evil. And I think that makes him a very human, unfortunately, exemplary human phenomenon, where the greatness and the darkness are all mixed together because that’s who we are as a species. And Wagner really exemplifies our species, in some ways, in terms of this mixing together of creative and destructive energies all at once, and you can never separate them — if that’s not too drastic.” Damn, that’s good. To learn about Wagner, I recommend Alex Ross’ interview with Tyler Cowen and this one on Open Source.

Have a creative week,

David Perell Logo 2x

Older messages

Monday Musings (Mr. Beast's Obsession)

Monday, August 29, 2022

Read in your browser here. Hi friends, Greetings from Austin! The day has finally come... I just published a 17000-word guide to writing. It's by far the most comprehensive thing I've ever

Friday Finds (Stripe, GDP, Hiring, iPhone)

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Read in your browser here. ​ Hi friends, Greetings from Austin! I'm hiring a Chief of Staff. This person will report directly to me, and it's one of the most important roles at Write of Passage

Monday Musings (What is Taste?)

Monday, August 22, 2022

Read in your browser here. Hi friends, Greetings from Austin! I'm hiring a Chief of Staff. ​ Here's a snapshot of the role: You'll work with me to run Write of Passage. It's an

Friday Finds (Leadership, Proust, Foote, Tesla, Mary Oliver)

Monday, August 22, 2022

Read in your browser here. Hi friends, Greetings from Austin! I've interviewed more job candidates in the past two months than my entire life combined. A key lesson: beware of charismatic people

Monday Musings (Working in Alignment)

Monday, August 15, 2022

Read in your browser here. ​ Hi friends, Greetings from Austin! As you may have heard, we're hard at work building Write of Passage Liftoff. Our goal? Help high schoolers share their ideas, find

Midnight Hunt

Friday, September 30, 2022

An aardvark's night out — and a look into its ancestry. Snipette Snipette Midnight Hunt By Nevin Katz – 30 Sep 2022 – View online → An aardvark's night out — and a look into its ancestry. Four

Progress Report 11: Motivation

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Reflecting on 1-year of self-employment + motivation for learning experiences ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

[Now I Know Offers] Learn Even More Each Day With Morning Brew

Thursday, September 29, 2022

let's go! Hi! This is a paid email from my friends at Morning Brew. They're great and you should absolutely try their service. But if you really don't like emails like this, you can opt out

3-2-1: The value of a schedule, intellectual humility, and the benefits of a good relationship

Thursday, September 29, 2022

3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider this week. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Ahrefs' Weekly Digest #105

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Hey there, In this week's edition: I show you how to write a blog post outline. Irina explains how Hunter built 96 links in three months. Bill has two posts on affiliate marketing: One on how much

❓ Innovate or Die: A Warehouse Love Story

Thursday, September 29, 2022

​view in browser​ Self-Storage, But Make it $exy Let's take self-storage, add shorter-term leases and a level-up in clientele, then subtract expenses. What do you get? Small bay warehouses aka cash

Go big or go home

Thursday, September 29, 2022

What L&D teams need to boost performance Getting to the top of your game doesn't happen overnight. It takes work, perseverance, talent—and yes, probably some luck, too. And most of us want to

Join Our Private SEO Community

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Still haven't joined our awesome SEO community on Facebook? Let's urgently fix this :) Hi Reader, Still haven't joined our awesome SEO community on Facebook? Let's urgently fix this :)

Now I Know: When a Lot of Wine Had to Defend Itself in Front of the Supreme Court

Thursday, September 29, 2022

And won! View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Apologies to any lawyers reading today's story who think I'm leaving out some important details. Making in rem

Alexis M. Romo - Interview With an Artist series vol. 8 | #78

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Hello, welcome to the Letters for Creatives newsletter. Take a look at some writing prompts, the archive and newsletter directory to find what you need now. If you have not subscribed yet, subscribe