Sahil Bloom

Sahil Bloom



The top 1% of new ideas I've encountered:

Question-Action Matrix The most intelligent people don't have the best answers—they ask the best questions. Asking great questions is how you uncover the truth. Bias for action is how you build. The Question-Action Matrix is a 2x2 of quality of questions and bias for action.

You can effectively place people in one of the four quadrants: Q1: World-changers (rare!) Q2: Grinders/hustlers Q3: Philosophers/thinkers Q4: Dead zone Invest heavily behind the Q1s, hire more of the Q2s, spend time with the Q3s, and avoid Q4s.

The Idea Maze The best startup ideas have contemplated the many possible future paths based on how the world shifts. This is the "idea maze”—it is a dynamic map of the future. Founders with a deep understanding of their maze are more likely to win. (h/t @balajis @cdixon)

Page 2 Learning Page 1 is the first page on Google or the front page of the newspaper. Page 1 is what's readily available to the masses. But everyone reads Page 1—so there’s no alpha there. To find asymmetric opportunities, you have to go deeper—to Page 2 and beyond.

Progressive Focus Overload Progressive overload training is when you gradually increase the weight, frequency, or reps in your workout routine. You slowly increase the load on your system to force it to get stronger. I think the same concept can be applied to your focus...

Most of us start with a very low base capacity for deep focus. Rather than jump into a focused work habit with failed 90-min sprints, we can slowly build our focus muscle: • Week 1: 30 min • Week 2: 35 min • Week 3: 40 min • ... Progressively overload your focus muscle!

Uphill Decisions When faced with two options, choose the one that’s more difficult in the short-term. This is called making "uphill decisions”—overriding your biological pain avoidance instinct. It's worth it—short-term pain creates compounding long-term gain. (h/t @naval)

Anti-Goals With traditional goals, we envision the optimal outcome. Anti-goals are the things we DON'T want to happen. Anti-goals are about avoiding the "Pyrrhic victory”—a victory that takes such a terrible toll on the victor that it might has well have been a defeat.

Local or Tourist When faced with chaos, ask yourself whether you are a local or a tourist. Tourists leave when the weather gets bad. Locals are aware that seasons change, and know how to live with the cycles. Always seek to play games where you're a local. (h/t @ShaanVP)

30-for-30 Plan If you want to improve at anything, follow this simple approach: • 30 days • 30 min per day 30 days of effort is a real commitment, but small enough that you can mentally take it on. 900 minutes of accumulated effort yields surprisingly significant results.

Genius of the "AND" We often create either/or decisions where we have to choose between one thing or the other. This is the Tyranny of the "OR"--the false tradeoffs. The Genius of the "AND" is the realization that we can do both—it's just more difficult. (h/t Jim Collins)

Barrel Talent Barrels are the talent in an org who are capable of taking an idea from conception to live. They are very difficult to find and typically the core constraint on the number of initiatives a company can take on simultaneously. Find more barrels. (h/t @rabois)

The Feynman Technique To learn anything: Step 1: Identify a topic Step 2: Try to explain it to a 5-year-old Step 3: Study to fill in knowledge gaps Step 4: Organize, convey, and review True genius is the ability to simplify, not complicate. Simple is beautiful.

Intellectual Sparring Partners Most of us need fewer friends and more intellectual sparring partners. Friends are easy to come by. Intellectual sparring partners are harder to find. They will call you on your BS, question your assumptions, and push you to think deeply.

Paths Open vs. Closed Black Lines = paths closed Green Lines = paths open We spend too much time focusing on what might have been (black) and not enough time focusing on what may be (green). Never underestimate the density of opportunity that lies ahead. (h/t @waitbutwhy)

"What Am I Sick Of?" Framework Jerry Seinfeld once said: ”A big part of innovation is saying, 'You know what I'm really sick of?'" Constantly asking "what am I sick of?" is a great framework for developing new business ideas. See the world as it is—and how it could be better.

Engineered Serendipity Some of what we call "luck" is actually the macro result of thousands of micro actions. Your daily habits can put you in a position where "luck" is more likely to strike. It's possible to increase your serendipity surface area and engineer your own luck.

Free Time as a Call Option Hustle culture lied to you—you've incorrectly been told that free time is bad. The reality: Free time is a call option on future interesting opportunities. When you have free time, you have the headspace and bandwidth to pursue high-upside ideas.

Q1 Relationships All relationships exist on a 2x2 matrix of: (1) How healthy it is (2) How enjoyable it is Q1 relationships are healthy & enjoyable. Focus on spending more energy on your Q1 relationships—cherish them. Scrub the Q4s from your life. (h/t @waitbutwhy)

Attention Residue Attention residue is the spillover of attention from one task into the next. It inhibits clear focus on the new task by taking up headspace. By grazing from task to task, we constrain our potential. Try this: Single task sprints with clear breaks in between.

Yerkes-Dodson Law The Yerkes-Dodson Law says stress and performance are positively correlated—up to a point, after which more stress reduces performance. High performers: • Are self-aware of their curve • Shift the apex to the right They play the game more effectively.

Those are the top 1% of new ideas I’ve encountered and can’t stop thinking about. Follow me @SahilBloom for more threads on fascinating ideas, business, and growth I’ll write a deep-dive on this in my newsletter. Join the 96,000+ who will receive it!

We cover many of these ideas with the relevant experts on our podcast—Where It Happens. Check out our latest episodes on Apple, Spotify, and YouTube!

Almost forgot to thank my co-pilot on today’s thread!

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