Subtle competition

This is a simple truth, but we’ve all been trained to ignore it. Our educational system both drives and reflects our obsession with competition.

Professors downplay the cutthroat culture of academia, but managers never tire of comparing business to war.

But really it’s competition, not business, that is like war

– Peter Thiel Zero to One

Your best asset

None of us are qualified for our first job. So it doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how competent you are on day one. What matters is how open you are to learning new things and how fast you can learn them. You’re going to feel stupid and incompetent. Just own that, rather than hide from it.

By the end of summer, you’ll be able to judge your success by two things: 1. The amount of work you’re capable of contributing to this newsroom. 2. The number of people who will go out of their way to help you out by calling in favors and giving you a glowing job reference.

You don’t have to be particularly talented to make this happen. In fact, there are many talented interns who will leave newsrooms at the end of this summer having annoyed the crap out of everyone. Instead, your best asset is humility.

– Kelly McBride ‘Advice for interns: Don’t screw this up‘ Poytner

Think. dream. stay.

“There are two types of writers: those who make you think and those who make you dream” says Brian Aldiss, who made me dream for such a long time with his science-fiction books. In principle I believe that every human being on this planet has at least one good story to tell his neighbor.

– Leandro Demori ‘On Writing‘ via Medium

Leaving New York for a merely more comfortable life would seem like such a betrayal of the city, a betrayal of my younger, mostly (or somewhat) harmless delusions.

– Zachary Lipez ‘Hello to all that: Why I’m staying in New York until I die‘ Vice

What is new

Creative industries work this way, too. No screenwriter wants to admit that her new movie script simply rehashes what has already been done before. Rather, the pitch is: ‘This film will combine various exciting elements in entirely new ways.’

– Peter Thiel Zero to One 

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

– Ecclesiastes 1::9

New rules

1. It is better to risk boldness than triviality.

2. A bad plan is better than no plan.

3. Competitive markets destroy profits.

4. Sales matters just as much as product.

– Peter Thiel Zero to One

100 days of Metal Detecting

In celebration of 100 posts on ‘The Metal Detector’ and ahead of Memorial Day, here are a few favorites:

There are no two words more harmful in the English language than ‘good job.’

The next Charlie Parker would never be discouraged. The truth is,  I never had a Charlie Parker. But I tried. And I will never apologize for how hard I tried.

– Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons) Whiplash 2/24/2015

Are you faithful to Jesus, or faithful to your ideas about Him?

– Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest 3/28/2015

People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it.

– Judith Shulevitz ‘In college and hiding from scary ideas‘ The New York Times 3/24/2015

Your parents are obviously nice people, but they haven’t taught you how to enjoy hard work. They haven’t let you fend for yourself, so you’ve never learned to take satisfaction from just that: surviving on your own.

– Heather Havrilesky ‘Ask Polly: I’m 25 and My Life Has Been Great, So Why Don’t I Have a Passion?‘ New York Magazine 5/14/2015

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