By Sachit Bhat

3MinSB - Issue #43: Tobi Lütke



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December 24 · Issue #43 · View online

Thoughts on life and the everyday.

Hello world and welcome back!
The third edition of Sriram Krishnan’s The Observer Effect was released this past week, and much like the first two delves into the methods and systems of life and work for Tobi Lütke, founder of Shopify. I’ve been in and out of podcasts and interviews for some time, mostly due to the fact that many of the topics discussed simply don’t apply to my life and personal goals. The Observer Effect abstracts away from the details of day-to-day granular work and instead focuses on the systems and frameworks that shape the individuals’ approach to work at a broader level. Of course, the interviews have been with two renowned founders and an esteemed venture capitalist, yet there is a unifying theme across the sessions - each of the interviewees has a clear, thorough sense of themselves. They realize their strengths and weaknesses and formulate an environment, company, culture, and schedule that optimizes the strengths and nearly eliminates the weaknesses.
Marc Andreesen lives in a calendar of colors and blocks, dedicated towards strict scheduling, including free time and rest. Each minute of the day and day of the week is dedicated toward some task at hand, synchronized with his own personal rhythm. Lütke, on the other hand, focuses less on strict time bounds and instead targets attention, which he states ‘is the most liquid and valuable resource that I have.’ With that core assumption in mind, his energy is distributed to account for that - he keeps a priority list built to focus the attention, as well as themed days on how to better silo attention to different facets of the business. Naval Ravikant, who I mention in the first article below, entrusts his interests to simply guide him, never letting what ‘should’ be done get in the way of what he simply just ‘does’.
The issues are unique and I highly recommend reading through each and pull out your own bits of insight. The essays are unified by Krishnan’s strong product expertise and desire to deeply understand such frameworks.
I absolutely love his note that comes up in Lütke’s section ‘on meetings’. After hearing an idea he likes, he probes at it - “Well, the implication of this choice means you’ve made the following assumptions. What inputs did you use to make these foundational assumptions?”
Beyond the meeting or the specific interaction, I found this quote highly akin to his general system regarding life - first taking a core assumption or axiom, then building systems and structure that could support and bolster such fundamentals. This relates highly to the concept of first principles, but I’ll save that for another day.
Check the interviews out here.

Who I'm Reading About
Naval Ravikant. I have posted interviews with and articles on Naval before, but most of his work and thoughts were dispersed across various mediums around the internet. The thought of philosophy was never something that occurred to me as truly useful nor helpful, at least at this age. Naval has shed new light on what philosophy can mean at a simpler level, as well as the methods for realizing habits, life, and pursuits in general.
Eric Jorgenson, a writer and product strategist, consolidated the bulk of Naval into The Almanack of Naval Ravikant which I read on my flight home. Naval has clear takes on difficult, muddy topics of life that warrant at least some level of thought and deeper consideration. The PDF version is free and the book is only a few bucks to download on Kindle.
Almanack of Naval Ravikant
Unrealized Potential
The ‘work from anywhere’ era is just beginning, and I’m bullish on the prospect of AR/VR in the work setting. There’s no simple replacement to the in-office experience, but those interactions that matter most - training, simulations, high-priority interactions, could use a heavy dose of mixed-reality. Current adoption has been slow, yet I predict that as the post-pandemic work schedule becomes more constant, those ‘missing’ in-person experiences can become better understood and replaced through some alternate reality.
Infinite Office
The Power of the Visual
Google Trends is a fascinating tool 👀Check out the full infographic here.
Thank you all for reading and happy holidays! Until next week.
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