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1/ Some initial thoughts on personal moats:

Like company moats, your personal moat should be a competitive advantage that is not only durableโ€”it should also compound over time.

Characteristics of a personal moat below:


2/ Like a company moat, you want to build career capital while you sleep.

As Andrew Chen noted:


3/ You donโ€™t want to build a competitive advantage that is fleeting or that will get commoditized

Things that might get commoditized over time (some longer than


4/ Before the arrival of recorded music, what used to be scarce was the actual music itself โ€” required an in-person artist.

After recorded music, the music itself became abundant and what became scarce was curation, distribution, and self space.

5/ Similarly, in careers, what used to be (more) scarce were things like ideas, money, and exclusive relationships.

In the internet economy, what has become scarce are things like specific knowledge, rare & valuable skills, and great reputations.
"I lied about my basic beliefs in order to keep a prestigious job. Now that it will be zero-cost to me, I have a few things to say."


We know that elite institutions like the one Flier was in (partial) charge of rely on irrelevant status markers like private school education, whiteness, legacy, and ability to charm an old white guy at an interview.

Harvard's discriminatory policies are becoming increasingly well known, across the political spectrum (see, e.g., the recent lawsuit on discrimination against East Asian applications.)

It's refreshing to hear a senior administrator admits to personally opposing policies that attempt to remedy these basic flaws. These are flaws that harm his institution's ability to do cutting-edge research and to serve the public.

Harvard is being eclipsed by institutions that have different ideas about how to run a 21st Century institution. Stanford, for one; the UC system; the "public Ivys".