Scott Young is a remarkable auto-didact. He is famous for the MIT Challenge, where he self-studied the entirety of a four-year MIT computer science undergraduate degree in one year. An excellent book for investors, especially those who want to invest in new industries.
Talking with friends and subscribers, I often find myself referencing books that I read and how that's influenced my thinking. In an attempt to consolidate and drive more value specifically for startup investors, I'll be test driving a new format called "Cheat Sheets" (working title.) This type of content is very popular, as you'll see at the bottom, and I will outsource much of my work to those sites. The specific value add here is to deliver a recommendation as well as specific takeaways for the startup investor. I will only write these posts for books I've actually read/listened to completion. As always, feedback welcome, feel free to comment on this post or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org—thanks!
Recommended for Startup Investors?
Scott Young is a remarkable auto-didact. He is famous for the MIT Challenge, where he self-studied the entirety of a four-year MIT computer science undergraduate degree in one year. An excellent book for investors, especially those who want to invest in industries and startups they may have relatively little professional experience in. I skimmed the book the first time, took notes, read it in its entirety on a long train ride, then listened to it again as an audiobook. I also used this as a companion guide to self-learning as I was banging my head deploying this new CMS system, Ghost.
If stuck on doing something, choose someone (blogger, software engineer, investor, etc.) whose 1-2 steps ahead and expert interview.
Only spend 10% of target learning time on preparation. Any more and is procrastinating, any less is like "buying everything you need on a trip" on the road.
Nine principles: MF DDR FRIE
Metalearning: draw a map, expert interview, concepts, facts, procedures (genesis of this post format)
Focus: identify if you have problems starting (procrastination,) problems maintaining (distraction,) or have a bad fit (workouts need pump up music, writing might need classical music)
Directness: when possible, try to do the thing in the context you need e.g. speak with natives if you want to improve speaking, if preparing for Jeopardy, practice on actual questions. The problem of transference: sadly, most things learned in one context seldom transfer to another. This is why academic language learning is bad. Even going from high school psychology to college shows next to no retention.
Feedback: Three types of feedback, outcome, informational, and corrective. Learn how to filter feedback from the noise.
Retention: Mnemonics, triggers, proceduralize.
Intuition: Teach. Feynman technique.
Experimentation: Work with constraints. What if you had to practice angel investing when you're not accredited? How would you evaluate a founder if you couldn't talk to them for 90 minutes in an office like a VC?
The Polgar family raised three healthy, happy, and exceptionally talented chess players. This was no accident.
Speed reading may just be skimming, less actual true increase. Here is Young's correction.
To improve diversity on real diversity, and not tokenism, write job descriptions and have people with different backgrounds evaluate your job descriptions.
Tell thorough rules but also vivid stories to demonstrate points
Oprah's rule for interviewing "What is your intention?" "I will help you, but you have to trust me."