Some of the most important things I’ve learned in life were absorbed outside of a classroom or traditional setting.
Most entrepreneur types I’ve met have said the same thing – while other people were following rules, they were making their own.
Of course, I’m more into building models than making absolute statements (“books are dead!” “social media is making us zombies!” “Instagram is making all food taste [better] [worse]”) so you won’t catch me raining fire and brimstone down on anyone.
But I do believe that curiosity, inspiration, and looking for less obvious connections can give us great value.
Here are three things that no one taught me directly, but that I’ve picked up in my travels and that have been immensely useful.
It’s all about scale, but not necessarily scaling up.
In the startup world one of the questions constantly in play is: “will it scale?”
Simplified, this just means that you always want to know if something you are doing now will work when you are much bigger.
It’s a great question, and it’s part of a bigger picture concept that is often overlooked:
To build a company (or life) of consequence you need to understand ecosystem connections, big and small.
This doesn’t mean that you’re stuck on a one-way street when it comes to scale…some things are meant to be small. And even if they aren’t, the building blocks are always worth knowing about.
In science, the relationship between neutrons, protons and electrons is just as important as the relationship between stars and galaxies. Brilliant minds like Einstein, Michio Kaku, and Richard Feynman all understood the importance of this, and in a more modern example you can see it at work in companies like Google, too.