Personal Savings, Financial Freedom

“The first thing to understand is the non-linear relationship between “cash in personal savings” and “financial freedom”:

There’s a line you cross where your savings alone will fund a reasonably lavish lifestyle. At the risk of sounding like George Bush, this is a Freedom Line — freedom from restrictions about what you can do with your life, family, and career.

My observations:

  1. A movement from left of the line to right of the line changes your life fundamentally, giving you the freedom to do whatever makes you happy, forever.
  2. If you’re crossing from left to right, it doesn’t matter how far to the right you go. (Sure, $100m is a different lifestyle than $10m, but it’s not as critical to lifestyle or happiness as just crossing the line.)”


Do Things That Don’t Scale

“The need to do something unscalably laborious to get started is so nearly universal that it might be a good idea to stop thinking of startup ideas as scalars. Instead we should try thinking of them as pairs of what you’re going to build, plus the unscalable thing(s) you’re going to do initially to get the company going.

It could be interesting to start viewing startup ideas this way, because now that there are two components you can try to be imaginative about the second as well as the first. But in most cases the second component will be what it usually is—recruit users manually and give them an overwhelmingly good experience—and the main benefit of treating startups as vectors will be to remind founders they need to work hard in two dimensions. [12]

In the best case, both components of the vector contribute to your company’s DNA: the unscalable things you have to do to get started are not merely a necessary evil, but change the company permanently for the better. If you have to be aggressive about user acquisition when you’re small, you’ll probably still be aggressive when you’re big. If you have to manufacture your own hardware, or use your software on users’s behalf, you’ll learn things you couldn’t have learned otherwise. And most importantly, if you have to work hard to delight users when you only have a handful of them, you’ll keep doing it when you have a lot.”