Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Take Your Idea, Break It in Half

QuestionWhat is your primary advice to entrepreneurs?

Jason Fried: The thing we always say is, half not half-assed.  The idea is like, whatever you’re doing, cut it in half.  If you’re thinking too big probably to start.  Keep cutting things in half, otherwise it’s going to be half-assed.  So, you’re going to do this big idea and you’re not going to do anything very well.  You really ought to focus on really like, one thing and do it really, really, really well and focus on the basics.  The basics are really where it’s at. 

You go to a hotel and they have fancy furniture everywhere and they’ve got a big screen TV in the room or whatever.  But if the bed’s not comfortable, this hotel sucks.  Right?  If you fly in a plane and they’ve got the fancy WiFi in the plane or whatever, but the plane’s always two hours late, it sucks.  Like you’ve got to get the basics right.  You’ve got to get the bed right in the hotel, you’ve got to get the on time arrivals right in the airline business.  You know, if the trains have to run on time, that sort of thing.  Like if you’re in the interview business, you’ve got to do good interviews.  Work on that first.  That’s hard enough.  The idea that you can solve that problem and solve 10 other problems at the same time is just a bad thing.  So, I’m always telling people, cut, cut, cut.  Get to the core, the real essence of what it is that you are doing and do a really good job at that.  Focus on the basics.  The basics are never going to go out of style.  They’re not sexy, but they’re never going to go out of style.

Like you’ll be using a Post-It Note in 20 years.  I promise you.  But are you going to be using this new fangled note taker thing that – I don’t know, probably not.  But you’ll be using Post-It Notes because they work and they’re essential and that sort of thing.  So, you got to get your idea down to that simple essence.  So that’s what I keep telling people. 

What good is Wi-Fi on a plane that’s always two hours late? Or a lavishly decorated room with an uncomfortable bed? Many entrepreneurs pay a price for enacting too ambitious of an idea without focusing on the essentials first.

LIVE EVENT | Radical innovation: Unlocking the future of human invention

Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

Navy SEALs: How to build a warrior mindset

SEAL training is the ultimate test of both mental and physical strength.

Videos
  • The fact that U.S. Navy SEALs endure very rigorous training before entering the field is common knowledge, but just what happens at those facilities is less often discussed. In this video, former SEALs Brent Gleeson, David Goggins, and Eric Greitens (as well as authors Jesse Itzler and Jamie Wheal) talk about how the 18-month program is designed to build elite, disciplined operatives with immense mental toughness and resilience.
  • Wheal dives into the cutting-edge technology and science that the navy uses to prepare these individuals. Itzler shares his experience meeting and briefly living with Goggins (who was also an Army Ranger) and the things he learned about pushing past perceived limits.
  • Goggins dives into why you should leave your comfort zone, introduces the 40 percent rule, and explains why the biggest battle we all face is the one in our own minds. "Usually whatever's in front of you isn't as big as you make it out to be," says the SEAL turned motivational speaker. "We start to make these very small things enormous because we allow our minds to take control and go away from us. We have to regain control of our mind."
Keep reading Show less

How COVID-19 will change the way we design our homes

Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.

Maja Hitij/Getty Images
Coronavirus
COVID-19 is confounding planning for basic human needs, including shelter.
Keep reading Show less

NASA's idea for making food from thin air just became a reality — it could feed billions

Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.

Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
  • Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
  • The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Keep reading Show less
John Moore/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic cripples the economy and kills hundreds of people each day, there is another epidemic that continues to kill tens of thousands of people each year through opioid drug overdose.

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast