THREAD: 15 of the most useful razors and rules I've found.

Rules of thumb that simplify decisions.

Bezos' Razors:

• If unsure what action to take, let your 80-year-old self make it.

• If unsure who to work with, pick the person that has the best chances of breaking you out of a 3rd world prison.
Skinner's Law:

• If procrastinating on an item, you only have 2 options:

1. Make the pain of not doing it greater than the pain of doing it.

2. Make the pleasure of doing it greater than the pleasure of not doing it.
Luck Razor:

• If stuck with 2 equal options, pick the one that feels like it will produce the most luck later down the line.

I used this razor to go for drinks with a stranger rather than watch Netflix.

In hindsight, it was the highest ROI decision I've ever made.
Bragging Razor:

• If someone brags about their success or happiness, assume it’s half what they claim.

• If someone downplays their success or happiness, assume it’s double what they claim.

The map is not the terrain.
Hofstadter’s Law: 

• It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Every project costs 2x as much and takes 3x as long - even when you factor this into your projections.
Elon's Law:

• If you have a project, combat Hofstader's Law by setting a ridiculously ambitious deadline.

Even if it takes 3x longer than the deadline, you're ahead of everyone else.

Elon Musk missing his super human deadlines is a feature rather than a bug.
Naval's Razors:

• If you have 2 choices to make and it's 50/50, take the path that’s more painful in the short term.

• If a task is worth less than your ambitious hourly rate - outsource it, automate it or delete it.

H/T - @naval
Munger's Law:

• Never allow yourself to have an opinion on a subject unless you can state the opposing argument better than the opposition can.

Steelman Arguments > Strawman Arguments
Hitchen's Razor:

• What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Newton's Flaming Laser Sword:

• If something can be settled by experiment or observation, then it is not worthy of debate.

UFC 1 >>> Decade long debates on the best martial arts
Joe Rogan's Razors:

• If unsure what action to take - ask what the hero in the movie would do.

• If you're intensely passionate about something and nobody around you is interested in it - assume the scale of the internet might help you find them.
Taleb's Surgeon:

• If presented with two seemingly equal candidates for a role, pick the one with the least amount of charisma.

The uncharismatic one has got there despite their lack of charisma.

The charismatic one has got there with the aid of their charisma.
Discomfort Razor:

• The more uncomfortable the activity, the more likely it will lead to growth.

• The more comfortable the activity, the more likely it will lead to stagnation.

1000 uncomfortable hours > 10,000 comfortable hours
Checkhov's Gun:

• When telling a story, if it's non-essential - don't include it.

"If you say in the 1st chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the 2nd or 3rd chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."
Occam's Razor:

• Simple assumptions are more likely to be correct than complex assumptions.

Avoid Occam's Duct Tape:

• Someone who approaches a problem with a ridiculously large number of assumptions.
Walt Disney's Rule:

• If struggling to think clearly about a subject, draw it out.

Here's Walt Disney's drawing he made in 1957 of the Media Empire he wanted to build.

It's iconic.
Schwarzeneggers' Rule:

• Never need to monetize your artistic pursuits. You won't have to sacrifice your inner joy and vision for a payday.

Arnold made millions from property and D2C bodybuilding guides so he never had to say yes to acting gigs he didn't like.
I occasionally send out a newsletter of new ideas I'm exploring.

100% high signal. 0% spam.

Check it out 👉

More from George Mack

I get DM's from founders with the same specific problems.

Here's a public list of marketing tools I recommend:

1. Twemex

Twitter Advanced search on steroids.

Whenever you visit someone's account, see their most popular Tweets of all time in order.

H/T @Julian for this

2. Good UI

Historical log of successful and failed A/B tests from the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Google

3. Blisk

See how your website looks across every device.

Got an Android user complaining how your website looks but you only have an iPhone? Use Blisk.

4. Really Good Emails

Struggling with email ideas?

Library of thousands of quality emails to get inspo from.

More from All

You May Also Like

A common misunderstanding about Agile and “Big Design Up Front”:

There’s nothing in the Agile Manifesto or Principles that states you should never have any idea what you’re trying to build.

You’re allowed to think about a desired outcome from the beginning.

It’s not Big Design Up Front if you do in-depth research to understand the user’s problem.

It’s not BDUF if you spend detailed time learning who needs this thing and why they need it.

It’s not BDUF if you help every team member know what success looks like.

Agile is about reducing risk.

It’s not Agile if you increase risk by starting your sprints with complete ignorance.

It’s not Agile if you don’t research.

Don’t make the mistake of shutting down critical understanding by labeling it Bg Design Up Front.

It would be a mistake to assume this research should only be done by designers and researchers.

Product management and developers also need to be out with the team, conducting the research.

Shared Understanding is the key objective

Big Design Up Front is a thing to avoid.

Defining all the functionality before coding is BDUF.

Drawing every screen and every pixel is BDUF.

Promising functionality (or delivery dates) to customers before development starts is BDUF.

These things shouldn’t happen in Agile.
हिमालय पर्वत की एक बड़ी पवित्र गुफा थी।उस गुफा के निकट ही गंगा जी बहती थी।एक बार देवर्षि नारद विचरण करते हुए वहां आ पहुंचे।वह परम पवित्र गुफा नारद जी को अत्यंत सुहावनी लगी।वहां का मनोरम प्राकृतिक दृश्य,पर्वत,नदी और वन देख उनके हृदय में श्रीहरि विष्णु की भक्ति अत्यंत बलवती हो उठी।

और देवर्षि नारद वहीं बैठकर तपस्या में लीन हो गए।इन्द्र नारद की तपस्या से घबरा गए।उन्हें हमेशा की तरह अपना सिंहासन व स्वर्ग खोने का डर सताने लगा।इसलिए इन्द्र ने नारद की तपस्या भंग करने के लिए कामदेव को उनके पास भेज दिया।वहां पहुंच कामदेव ने अपनी माया से वसंतऋतु को उत्पन्न कर दिया।

पेड़ और पौधों पर रंग बिरंगे फूल खिल गए और कोयलें कूकने लगी,पक्षी चहकने लगे।शीतल,मंद,सुगंधित और सुहावनी हवा चलने लगी।रंभा आदि अप्सराएं नाचने लगीं ।किन्तु कामदेव की किसी भी माया का नारद पे कोई प्रभाव नहीं पड़ा।तब कामदेव को डर सताने लगा कि कहीं नारद क्रोध में आकर मुझे श्राप न देदें।

जैसे ही नारद ने अपनी आंखें खोली, उसी क्षण कामदेव ने उनसे क्षमा मांगी।नारद मुनि को तनिक भी क्रोध नहीं आया और उन्होने शीघ्र ही कामदेव को क्षमा कर दिया।कामदेव प्रसन्न होकर वहां से चले गए।कामदेव के चले जाने पर देवर्षि के मन में अहंकार आ गया कि मैने कामदेव को हरा दिया।

नारद फिर कैलाश जा पहुंचे और शिवजी को अपनी विजयगाथा सुनाई।शिव समझ गए कि नारद अहंकारी हो गए हैं और अगर ये बात विष्णु जी जान गए तो नारद के लिए अच्छा नहीं होगा।ये सोचकर शिवजी ने नारद को भगवन विष्णु को ये बात बताने के लीए मना किया। परंतु नारद जी को ये बात उचित नहीं लगी।