August 26, 2019

How (much) do you learn?

Jsc @jsco

As an entrepreneur, you have to have a pretty wide skill set, ranging all the way from consumer psychology to statistical analysis.

When and how do you acquire the skills you need?

  1. 5

    I do a lot of just-in-time learning nowadays, i.e. when I encounter a particular issue or goal, I'll read up on it and talk to people who know more than I do.

    Probably it's useful to spend some time acquiring a base level of knowledge about a new field (e.g. startups) before jumping in, but not too much time, which can lead to both paralysis and inefficiency. Paralysis, because you never get started doing anything. Inefficiency, because learning without doing means you don't have any feedback on whether or not you're learning the right things, so you'll likely learn many irrelevant things and neglect many crucial things.

    So at some point it makes sense to just get started and switch to just-in-time learning mode for the most part.

  2. 1

    General Learning:

    • I listen to ten podcasts a day at 2x speed. As I'm biking, walking, driving, cleaning up or playing Civilization 😄


    • To learn a new language or framework. I'll do relevant tutorials until I get the grasp of things. Then one-off googles to fill in the gaps.


    • 10-30 minutes of fiction each night. This helps with communication, empathy and creativity.
  3. 1

    For learning new things in software development I usually stumble into it. Something like:

    1. Find a "copy and paste" solution in Stack Overflow or a blog
    2. Realize I need to make more changes outside the scope of the post/blog
    3. Start researching the core problem and how it really works
    4. ...Lots of struggling here
    5. Get to a level of knowledge where I can rewrite most of the original copy/paste code
    6. Debug a lot more
    7. Finish and try to revisit in a week or so when I have a fresh perspective
  4. 1

    Courtland fave your a great answer and I totally agree with him. Regarding the how, I listen to audicle books and various podcasts at 2-2.5x during every transitional moment. Everytime I encounter a "nugget", I apply it or try it multiple in the next few days. This way I really learn it and I rember it without much effort.

    1. 1

      I never understood this, why do people listen to audiobooks at 2x+ times the speed? Doesn't your brain need time to process what you hear? I know that your hearing adjust but I never found that I got the same value out of an audiobook when hearing it at 2x+ the speed

      1. 1

        Non-fiction books have lots of fluff or repeat the same concept over and over again to reach a number of pages that make them easier to sell. Very few people would spend the same amount of moneh for a 30-40 pages book. So you focus on what matter and you process the information applying it after you listened. You can even listen to it at 1x but the truth is that you will forget it in a few days if you don't apply it. I have no problems with this method. In fact, it is better for me because it requires me to be fully focused while on a slow pace I can get distracted. Clearly you can't apply with every subject, but you can with the most of them.

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