Venkatesh Rao of Ribbonfarm
(This is a small series, where I want to share about a few people whom I knew online and has had a significant influence on my thinking. How I came to know them? Key lessons learnt from them)
My introduction to Venkat Rao or VGR came from a Farnam Street podcast. What caught my attention was that Marc Andreessen had commissioned VGR to write a series of essays, Breaking Smart, on exploring the "software is eating the world" them. Not only that, Marc seemed to be very impressed with his blogs at Ribbonfarm and had cold emailed him.
RibbonFarm is a cognitively intense blog. For me, many of their blogs require re-reading. I confess that I still struggle to finish reading some of their long-form content. I need to prime my mind to read the content.
Key Lessons I have learnt:
You are motivated if and only if you’re producing high-volume output driven by a tight positive feedback loop keeping you in the flow state.
You have to do whatever most energises you and produces a lot of output, and let the work/opportunities find you. Quantity has a quality all its own.
OODA Loop. It's critical to understand the system you are in (a company, a family or a community), observe it intently and decide to fight or flight. I am still a learner in this topic. But it is a very valuable mental framework.
It is entirely okay to get submerged in the information overflow, instead of Waldenponding or shutting yourself like Cal Newport's propaganda about Deep Work. A lot of exciting things happen in Twitter and Facebook, to blame the network for our choice is wrong.