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Mic Check Vol. 21: The case for building for a future state
How to decide what to work on
How do you decide what to work on?
There are infinite ways to spend our time on this blue planet, and it's probably safe to assume that most of us want to spend it on something that matters. This question comes up for me in both big ways (what are the priorities in my life? What sacrifices am I willing to make for my professional ambitions?) and small ones (what feature should we build next?). In a strange way, the framework for determining both seems to be the same.
I had the chance to sit in on a workshop this week in which we were led through a series of exercises to determine this very thing: what should we work on next? No summary can replace the experience of being walked through this with a great facilitator (and if you want a recommendation, please hit reply), but broadly, here's how we approached the question:
In which space are you building? This could be housing, transportation, work (hi, B2B businesses), education, etc.
How will people be interacting in that space in 5 years? Ex. how will people be learning? How will people be teaching?
If those future state predictions are true, what will that mean for your product category? What will people need from it?
For many of us, "work" becomes a series of incremental improvements to a vision that we revisit too infrequently. The power of this exercise lies in its simplicity. When's the last time you took a bet on a future state of the world and built against it?
Raman at Rhetoric
📚 Open tabs
What team Rhetoric is reading during those awkwardly-timed few minutes between Zooms.
Should you start with an angel round? What are the benefits and tradeoffs? Julian Weisser has been involved in 100+ angel investments and breaks down his best advice for founders in this week's Rhetoric Talk:
Perhaps the most impressive storytellers are the economists who, through an almost allergic avoidance of jargon and incredibly simple graphs, can make complex economic trends actually entertaining to read about.
I hadn't thought about AI in this way before: after millennia of seeking to understand everything, we've created something that, by definition, humans eventually shouldn't be able to understand. AI researchers are growing cautious of building things they increasingly can't explain, but isn't the whole point to create something that operates lightyears beyond what the human brain is capable of?
✨ 1% better
What we're trying this week to become 1% better at communicating.
Here's a trick for keeping it concise: challenge yourself to summarize what you're about to say before you say it.