Work As Hard As You Can

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let's talk about hard work there's this battle that happens in Twitter a lot between should you work hard and should you not like David Hauser's on there saying it's like your slave driving people and Keith Robo is always on there saying like no all the great founders work their fingers to the bone and they're talking past each other first of all they're talking about two different things David is talking about employees in a lifestyle business which is fine your number one thing in life if you're doing that is not getting wealthy you have a job you also have your family you also have your life but Keith is talking about the Olympics of startups he's

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talking about the person going for the gold medal and trying to build a multi-billion dollar public company that person has to get everything right they have to have great judgment they have to pick the right thing to work on they have to recruit the right team and they have to work crazy hard because they're basically engaged in the competitive sprint so if getting wealthy is your goal you are going to have to work as hard as you can but hard work is absolutely no substitute for who you work with and what you work on what you work on is probably the most important thing finding product market founder fit to expand on Marc Andreessen definition

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you came with product market fit but I would add product market founder fit which is how well you are personally suited to that business the combination that three that should be your overwhelming goal and you can save yourself a lot of time if you pick the right area to work in picking the right people to work with is the next most important piece and then third comes how hard you work but they're like three legs of a stool if you shortchange in any one of them the whole stool is gonna fall down so it's not like you can pick one over the other that easily so the order operations when you're building a business is or even building your career

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is first figure out what should I be doing what is something where there is a market that is emerging there's a product that I can build that I'm excited to work on and something where I have specific knowledge and I'm really into it and then second surround yourself with the best people possible and no matter how high your bar is raise your bar because you can never be working with other people who are great enough if there's someone greater out there to work with you should go work with them I advise a lot of people who are looking at which started to join in Silicon Valley I say basically pick the one that's going to have the best alumni

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network for you in the future look at the PayPal mafia they work with a bunch of geniuses so they all got rich so just try and pick based on the highest Intel energy and integrity people that you can find and then finally once you've picked the right thing to work on and the right people to work with then you work as hard as you can this is where the mythology gets a little crazy people will work 80 120 hour weeks a lot of that's just status signaling it's showing off nobody really works 80 200 20 hours a week sustained at high output with mental clarity your brain breaks down you just won't have good ideas so really

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the way people tend to work most effectively especially in knowledge work is they sprint as hard as they can while they're working on something and they're inspired and they're passionate and then they rest they take long breaks it's more like a lion hunting and much less like a marathon running and running so you sprint then you rest you reassess and then you try again in which you end up doing is you end up building a marathon of Sprint's maybe just made the point to me on the side that inspiration is perishable which is a very good point when you have your inspiration do it right then and there this happens to me a lot with my tweet storms I've actually

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come up with a whole bunch of additional tweet stone besides the ones that are already out there but sometimes I just hesitate or I just pause and then it just dies and what I've learned is if I'm inspired to write a blog post or to publish a tweet storm I should probably do it right away otherwise it's not gonna get out there I won't come back to it so inspiration is a beautiful and powerful thing and when you have it just seize it so people talk about impatience when do you know to be impatient when you know to be patient my glib tweet on this was impatience with actions and patience with the results and I think that's actually a good

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philosophy for a life anything you have to do just get it done why wait you're not getting any younger your life is slipping away you don't want to spend it waiting in line you don't want to spend it traveling back and forth you don't want to spend it doing things that you know ultimately aren't part of your mission and when you do them you want to do them as quickly as you can while you do them well with your full attention but then you just have to give up on the results you have to be patient with the results because you deal with complex systems you didn't with lots of people it takes a long time for markets to adopt products it takes

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time for people to get comfortable working with each other it takes time for great products to emerge as you polish away polish away polish away so impatience with actions patience with results and as may be said inspiration is perishable so when you have inspiration act on it right then and there if I have a problem that I discovered one of my businesses that needs to be solved I basically won't sleep until at least the resolution is in motion and this is just a personal failing but if I'm on the board of a company I'll call the CEO if I'm running the company I'll call my reports if I'm responsible I'll get on

Key Themes, Chapters & Summary

Key Themes

  • Perspectives on Hard Work

  • Product-Market-Founder Fit

  • Importance of Team Selection

  • Efficiency in Work Hours

  • Nature of Inspiration and Action

  • Patience and Results in Business

Chapters

  • Introduction: The Debate on Hard Work

  • Aligning Work, Team, and Goals

  • Selecting the Right People for Success

  • Balancing Hard Work and Efficiency

  • Harnessing Inspiration for Immediate Action

  • Conclusion: Impatience in Actions, Patience in Outcomes


Summary

In "Work As Hard As You Can," a podcast by Naval Ravikant, the intricacies of hard work, choosing the right career path, and the philosophy of work are explored with a deep and structured approach. Ravikant shares his insights on the dynamic interplay between working hard, working with the right people, and working on the right things, emphasizing their collective impact on achieving success.


The Debate on Hard Work

The podcast opens with Ravikant addressing the ongoing debate on Twitter regarding hard work. He distinguishes between two perspectives: one that views hard work as akin to slave-driving and another that sees it as a necessity for founders aiming to achieve exceptional success. Ravikant clarifies that these views are context-dependent, with one focusing on employees in lifestyle businesses and the other on founders in competitive startup environments.


The Triad of Success: Work, Team, and Focus

Ravikant explains that hard work alone is not a guarantee of success; it must be complemented by working with the right people and focusing on the right areas. He introduces the concept of 'product-market-founder fit,' extending Marc Andreessen's idea of product-market fit. This fit involves aligning one's personal strengths with the business, ensuring a harmonious blend of skills, market needs, and personal passion.


The Importance of Choosing the Right People and Focus

The selection of the right team is highlighted as a crucial factor. Ravikant advises surrounding oneself with the best possible people, continually raising the bar for team quality. He stresses the importance of choosing a startup with a potentially strong alumni network, using the success of the PayPal mafia as an example.


Hard Work in Context: Efficiency Over Excess

Ravikant then tackles the notion of working extremely long hours, dispelling the myth that sustained 80-120 hour work weeks are productive. He argues for a more balanced approach, where intense work periods are interspersed with rest. This method, likened to a lion hunting rather than a marathon, ensures sustained productivity and mental clarity.


The Role of Inspiration and Impatience

He also touches on the perishable nature of inspiration, advocating for acting on it immediately. Ravikant shares his personal approach to problems in business, emphasizing the importance of addressing issues promptly to maintain peace of mind.


Conclusion: Balancing Action and Patience

The podcast concludes with a philosophy of being impatient with actions and patient with results. Ravikant explains that while one should act swiftly and decisively, it's also crucial to understand that results in complex systems take time to manifest.


Through this podcast, "Work As Hard As You Can," Naval Ravikant presents a rich and nuanced understanding of the work ethic, strategic focus, and personal philosophy required for success. His insights provide a structured and well-researched perspective, offering valuable guidance for those seeking to navigate their careers and business endeavors effectively.