Sunday Brain Food - Brain Food: Starting Position


No. 465 — March 27, 2022 — Read on FS

Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire.


"I think nowadays there’s so much opportunity and so much reward for 'go' that we don’t train the 'no go' pathways. "

Impulse Control

TKP Podcast

"Light is perhaps the most powerful stimulus for our mental, physical health and for our performance in every endeavor. We often miss this point because the effects of light are what we call slow and integrative. ... If you don’t view light for half a day or for a day you’re okay. But what light does is it sets the foundation of our abilities and it does that indirectly, and directly."

I sat down with Neuroscientist and Stanford University School of Medicine professor Dr. Andrew Huberman to discuss what he's learned about light, sleep, productivity, and slowing the aging process. Listen to this episode on FS (with show notes), Apple Podcasts, Spotify, watch on YouTube, or read the transcript.


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Tiny Thought

One of the best ways to improve performance is to change where you start.

You don’t need to start at the bottom of the mountain to get to the top. You can learn from the people that came before you.

Standing on the shoulders of the people that have done what you want to do changes your starting position. You’ve unconsciously done this all your life. Consider how you learned calculus in school. Isaac Newton climbed the calculus mountain years ago. And while you might never reach the summit, you’re certainly not trying to work out everything for yourself. Learning from his work allows you to start halfway up the mountain.

There is a wrinkle worth pointing out. Most of what you learn in school changes slowly. However, in the real world, a lot of what you need to know to get ahead changes quickly. And that means finding someone with a lot of experience and learning from them isn’t the best approach.

Experience can be deceiving. When I worked at the three-letter-intelligence agency, I had a mentor who was 25 years older than me. While it was well-intentioned, the specific advice he offered me to get ahead wasn’t relevant anymore. It worked for him 25 years ago, but the environment had changed too much. However, his general advice was spot on.

When starting a new job, find the person that just got promoted from the role you got hired into and ask them for specific advice. The word specific is important. These are the tools, the techniques, the skills that worked in the same situation you’re coming into. If you talk to someone who climbed the mountain a long time ago, odds are the specific advice isn’t as relevant as things have changed.

You control your starting position more than you think. For specific advice, find someone a step or two ahead of you. For general advice, find someone older who can put things in perspective.

(Share this Tiny Thought on Twitter)

Explore Your Curiosity

"Not everything improves with time. There are a number of things that people did better in the past, both because of lost wisdom but also simply because in the past things weren’t mass-produced. Beautiful older dresses, hand-stitched rugs, even kitchen appliances used to be sturdier and last longer. You can go purchase a mass-produced cheap samurai sword online, but you’d be a fool to use it in a fight against a blade of 20-times folded steel, even if the latter were ancient. Stradivari violins, hand-crafted by members of the Italian Stradivari family, are legendarily considered to have a superior and unique sound compared to violins made with even the most modern techniques.

A child going from governesses teaching them multiple languages to renowned scholars tutoring them in advanced mathematics is similarly not replicable in today’s world. In turning education into a system of mass production we created a superbly democratic system that made the majority of people, and the world as a whole, much better off. It was the right decision. But we lost the most elegant and beautiful minds, those mental Stradivari, who were created via an artisanal process."

Why we Stopped Making Einsteins

"Effective practice isolates the skills that are necessary to produce results. Researchers like to distinguish between drills and scrimmages. Drills distort the game so as to work on a specific skill under maximum concentration. Scrimmages mimic the game to get a feel for the cadence and circumstances. Skill transfer is the degree to which working on a skill in one setting translates into another.”


Sponsored by Canalyst

“I cannot begin to say how much this has changed my life - and investment process.” - PM, global asset manager

Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you're a professional investor and haven't talked to Canalyst recently, give them a shout.

Stay safe,
— Shane

P.S. Dis tracks go corporate.

Free Version

You're getting the Free version. Members get so much more.


Older messages

Brain Food: Useful Not Accurate

Sunday, March 20, 2022

FS | BRAIN FOOD No. 464 — March 20, 2022 — Read on FS Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire. FS "A model might show you some risks, but not

Brain Food: Tentative Uncertainty

Sunday, March 13, 2022

FS | BRAIN FOOD No. 463 — March 13, 2022 — Read on FS Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire. FS "He was the greatest conqueror the world

Brain Food: Positive Asymmetry

Sunday, March 6, 2022

FS | BRAIN FOOD No. 462 — March 6, 2022 — Read on FS Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire. FS First-principles thinking is a competitive

Brain Food: Active Patience

Sunday, February 27, 2022

FS | BRAIN FOOD No. 461 — Feb 27, 2022 — Read on FS Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire. FS Thought experiments are a classic tool used by

Brain Food: Designing Defaults

Sunday, February 20, 2022

FS | BRAIN FOOD No. 460 — Feb 20, 2022 — Read on FS Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire. FS "The passion for stretching yourself and

Jul 4: 888’s debt sale hits trouble

Monday, July 4, 2022

888 debt sale struggle, Las Vegas analyst updates, the shares week, startup focus - Sports Gambling Guides +More ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Defining Success

Monday, July 4, 2022

Clarify your desired outcomes to avoid trouble. Pragmatic Consulting Club Pragmatic Consulting Club Defining Success By Danilo Kreimer – 04 Jul 2022 – View online → Seneca famously said, “If one does

Brits set for summer of air travel chaos

Monday, July 4, 2022

.... and US stock markets suffers worst start to the year in over 50 years View this email in your browser 4th July 2022 Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond Good morning Would you sign up

How Rob Dyrdek quietly built a $400m empire

Monday, July 4, 2022

In 2016, investors were still calling the ex-pro skateboarder "uninvestable" - as if that would hold down a guy with over 20 world records. Trends You know Rob Dyrdek the skateboarder, maybe

+21% in paid account upgrades (easy)

Monday, July 4, 2022

Today's hack +21% in paid account upgrades (easy) Ecwid saw a 21.3% lift in successful paid account upgrades. How? 1. By clarifying their progress bar = adding text below icons. 2. By showing 15%

Screw it! Just DIY🛠️

Monday, July 4, 2022

Lenskart gets bigger, ONDC challenges Amazon, FSSAI certified Paan ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Oops, we did it: TikTok

Monday, July 4, 2022

Also in today's edition: Billionaire wealth dwindles; The great crypto hedge fund collapse; BNPL down rounds; A coffee brawl is brewing ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

5 Interesting Learnings from Zendesk at $1.6 Billion in ARR; Plus Weekly SaaS News and Updates

Sunday, July 3, 2022

The latest SaaStr articles and Cloud news To view this email as a web page, click here saastr weekly Hey SaaStr Community, There are a lot of “VC-isms”, and one you hear a bit is The Clear Path.

6 Lead Myths Most Agency Owners Believe

Sunday, July 3, 2022

I don't know about you but I want to build my life on the truth. Too agencies let themselves be persuaded by lies. Here are 6 nasty ones that will kill your agency's earning potential: 1 - 👎

You entered our giveaway but not the app! 📱

Sunday, July 3, 2022

The clock is ticking. You still have time to download to confirm your entry. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌