10 of my founder friends are forces of nature.

Their startups are now worth $400M+ each.

4 behaviors I've observed:
Effective people optimize for what compounds—not just quick wins.

They train themselves to get a dopamine hit when they help their future selves—even if they receive no immediate benefit from the action.

What compounds:

• Building audiences
• Relationships
• Investing $
In school, we learn by being curious and by accepting when we're wrong.

As adults, we forget we're still students—of life.

Effective people recreate environments where they're still told they're wrong:

They befriend blunt, independent-minded thinkers who'll call them out.
Effective people defer stuff that doesn’t matter, and always get started on what does.

Momentum is about rate of iteration and persistence, not brilliance.

I don’t know one force of nature founder who isn’t strongly biased toward taking action.
Success therefore appears to be two things:

1. Point yourself in the right direction.

2. Do the work even when you're not in the mood to.

Both are necessary.

(Plus luck and privilege, of course.)
Luck is a function of surface area.

In the early days, effective people increase their luck by exposing themselves to more opportunities and more people.

There’s a reason why successful people tend to be proactive: they’re expanding their reach.

Reach is a serendipity engine.
There are three ways to consume information:

Most people: Consume info for a dopamine hit.

Thoughtful people: Consume to refine their understanding.

Effective people: Find info that challenges their views and change them when they're wrong. ← Get your advice from these people
Recap:

The best founders I know share some traits:

1. Bias toward taking action—no lazy deferring.

2. Always looking to prove themselves wrong.

3. Regularly reassess their priorities without fear of changing them.

Key: They balance momentum with indulging their curiosity.
My upcoming thread is on using these lessons to select the right startup to work on.

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More from @Julian

14 Jun
If you worry about your startup's competition...

I overcame that anxiety by writing this essay.

How to beat competition:
I used to worry about three competitive dynamics:

• What if competitors turn my business into a feature?

• If I don’t build this feature now, a competitor will and I’ll lose my headstart.

• What if my competitor's market dominance makes acquisition costs unsustainably high?
I reduced these anxieties by realizing this: 

*Customer retention is the antidote to competition.*

Because, when fearing competition, you're often fearing:

• Unsustainable economics
• Losing customers to competitors

The second one caused most of my stress. So I tackled it:
Read 15 tweets
11 Jun
What’s the most beautiful piece of writing you’ve ever come across?

Bonus points if you can screenshot a paragraph and share it below. I’ll consider including it in my writing guide.

Props to anyone who takes the time ❤️
I'll start with some great ones from last time:

From @amamyyang Image
From @VCFryer Image
Read 7 tweets
10 Jun
I've now written 30 Twitter threads.

I use them to log great ideas and everything that surprises me.

Here are my 9 best threads (on startups, writing, marketing):
Read 11 tweets
8 Jun
Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Drake generate non-stop hits for years.

What are they doing differently?

Thread: How to generate way more ideas
I was watching a documentary on songwriter Ed Sheeran. In it, he described his songwriting process.

It struck me as identical to the process that author Neil Gaiman detailed in his Masterclass.
Here's the thing.

Ed Sheeran and Neil Gaiman are in the top 0.000001% of their fields. They're among very few people in the world who consistently generate blockbuster after blockbuster.
Read 17 tweets
24 May
How do you quickly grow an online audience?

Here's how I've helped folks do it.

A mix of writing, marketing, and startups:
One audience building approach:

• YouTube/Twitter for viral distribution
• Blogging for SEO distribution
• Newsletter for maintaining relationships
• Podcasts for deepening them

Twitter gets the word out.

Newsletters keep people around.

Podcasts help them better know you.
A question to ask when building an audience:

Are they following you for your mind or your labor?

• Labor: You're COLLECTING good content for them
• Mind: You're CRAFTING original content

Mind-followers are extra loyal. They're with you no matter what you do in the future.
Read 17 tweets
19 May
10 of my realizations about writing well:
Your goal isn't to build a writing habit. Your goal is to fall so in love with interesting ideas that you can’t not write about them.
Don't wait for an idea to be fully formed before writing. You write in order to think through the idea. The act of writing compels your brain to connect the dots.
Read 11 tweets

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