Ray Dalio on forming principles

Before you read The Art of War, Hagakure, Book of Five Rings or Tao Te Ching, read Ray Dalio’s Principles. Then as he suggests, “think for yourself—to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true and 3) what to do about it.”

Principles are concepts that can be applied over and over again in similar circumstances as distinct from narrow answers to specific questions. Every game has principles that successful players master to achieve winning results. So does life. Principles are ways of successfully dealing with the laws of nature or the laws of life. Those who understand more of them and understand them well know how to interact with the world more effectively than those who know fewer of them or know them less well. Different principles apply to different aspects of life—e.g., there are “skiing principles” for skiing, “parenting principles” for parenting, “management principles” for managing, “investment principles” for investing, etc—and there are over-arching “life principles” that influence our approaches to all things. And, of course, different people subscribe to different principles that they believe work best.
— Ray Dalio, Principles

 

Management philosophy

Sunzi’s Art of War has been a strategic inspiration for Western biz types for many years. Yet strategy without knowing how to conduct oneself in “battle” is of no use. Sunzi says:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Hagakure and Go Rin No Sho teach us how to behave in matters of such engagement, while Tao Te Ching is a path to finding the Way.

In a change of direction for my blog, I look forward to sharing my faves from these and similar books. They teach us a lot about the Art of Management.

 

Writing “the fact that” doesn’t make a fact

The question I would have asked Mark Zuckerberg if I was attending the townhall he recently hosted: how much do you think Twitter’s problems are driven by the fact that Wall Street (and other investors) judge a CEO differently from a strong founder.
Om Malik via Facebook

Writing “the fact that” doesn’t automagically make anything fact. Does Wall Street really judge founder CEOs differently to non-founder CEOs? I don’t know, but I do know short-term results interest the Street and that they don’t really care who delivers them.

The advantage founder CEO’s have is that they can choose to ignore Wall Street (up to a point). Zuckerberg’s response says as much:

I don’t think there’s anything that makes founders intrinsically better at running companies than non-founder CEOs. There are plenty of good leaders who are both.

That said, there are certain structural advantages that founders may have that can make their jobs easier than those of non-founder CEOs — including extra social capital within a company and control of company governance.

The remainder of Zuckerberg’s (erudite) response is worth reading.

 

#listeningto See Me Speak In Color @rocketempire

I’m building a website for a client today. It’s a chill project. So are these tunes from producer and songwriter Dave Dish aka Rocket Empire.

 

Don’t hide spam in product update emails

I received a product update today from AwardWallet, announcing additional account security via 2FA. Good news.

Except that the “update” included advertising for a Chase credit card. It’s like opening a present that then punches you in the face: surprising and unwelcome.

Furthermore, if I unsubscribe from this email I’d remove myself from “important product updates”, i.e. security advisories. Um, no.

So don’t put spam in product and security update emails unless you like unhappy customers.

UPDATE: so I go to enable 2FA and … “Two-factor authentication is only available for AwardWallet Plus members. Please upgrade your account.” So basic account security is something one has to pay for? These guys need to hire a customer success manager.

 

#listeningto @IAMOMNI (produced by Tricky)

This record brings back memories of Massive Attack, Portishead and DJ Shadow but with an LA twist, and although released in 2011 sounds incredibly fresh today. Really impressive!