Book: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
Author: Eric Jorgenson
"Eric Jorgenson is a startup growth guy, writer, and (rarely) an Angel investor. He is on the founding team of Zaarly, and has been publishing online since 2014. His business blog, Evergreen, has educated and entertained over a million readers.
Eric is on a quest to create (and eat) the perfect sandwich. He tweets at @ericjorgenson and publishes new pieces and projects on ejorgenson.com"
I've learned so much from him online over the course of 10 years, and I'm interested in almost all of the things that he talks about. Startups, investing, futurism, crypto, economics, etc... I just felt like I could endlessly dive into his thoughts and be entertained, agree or disagree.
2. Did you have a relationship with Naval prior to writing this book?
None at all! This all started through Twitter. Through the entire course of completing the book I never spoke live to Naval. It was all through email.
3. What was the first piece of content you remember hearing of Naval’s?
When I was still in school in Michigan, I met a mentor who advised that I start learning about startups and fundraising by reading all of Venture Hacks. That was the first I'd heard of Nivi and Naval, their first blog.
I think the "How to Get Rich" Tweetstorm is the most comprehensive overview. It really affirmed and re-articulated a lot of my worldview. It helps to solidify concepts like "build or buy equity in a business" and "take on accountability" -- just these tightly-packaged, memorable pieces that you can use to continuously re-orient.
5. There had to be a good amount of digging you had to do for this book, overall, what was your writing process like?
It was a lot -- like doing a giant conceptual jigsaw puzzle. I really enjoyed the time I spent doing it, so it was fun. Lots of re-reading, re-listening, feeling how ideas connected to each other, and evolved over time.
6. Naval goes deep into the importance of “leverage”, what have been some avenues that you have used to boost your own leverage?
Yes! Leverage is maybe my favorite concept from the book. I'm going deeper into exploring it on my own now, and started doing some Twitter threads about it. I think that will evolve into a course or book of some sort as well.
Personally, I feel the power of digital products now that there is a book out there and I've done more podcasts. The reach of a good piece of work is truly incredible.
7. Naval like other great thinkers focuses a lot on “clear thinking” and being extremely rational. Why do you think this is such a difficult task for most people to even start doing, let alone master?
Well, humans aren't evolved to be rational. It's only in some modern environments that being rational is even the optimal strategy. We're evolved to be cautious, optimistic, emotionally-driven, intuitive, social animals. Even for people who study and constantly reinforce rationality it requires a persistent effort and careful systems to take rational actions.
8. What is one thought pattern that you and Naval both share, that you think more people should adopt?
Maybe ironic for someone who just wrote a book about someone else, but independence of thought. Be willing to disagree, to think for yourself, to seek out alternatives to the common answers other people have.
9. Within your research, did you find that there was a common misconception people had about Naval and if so, what was it?
I have seen people think he takes himself too seriously, and that's the wrong first impression. To me he's funnier and much less self-serious than people tend to believe, but that's just what they see on Twitter.
10. What’s the best book you have read this year?
I re-read 'The Systems Bible' and it gets funnier and better every time.
11. What’s the best advice you have ever received on happiness?
That it's a choice, and that nothing external can dictate your happiness.
12. What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?
Go read something new and interesting.
13. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
I think so! I learned a lot creating this book, and writing a book is a great way to hold myself to a very high standard of learning something I'm interested in :)
Other Places To Find More From This Author:
Linkedin: Eric Jorgenson
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