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First Principles

Find a way to deliver value to other humans, then figure out how to scale that capability.

It's not what you know but knowing what to ask that makes the difference.

Mental Model

  1. Name your current assumptions about the problem.
  2. Break the problem down into its core parts
  3. Identify the foundational blocks of the system in operation?
  4. Ask powerful questions to get to the truth of the problem
  5. What was the original purpose of the system working in this way?
  6. Remind yourself of the goal and create a new solution

Related mental models for critical thinking.


When you reason from first principles, opportunities for application are many - Pavel Tsatsouline