In the 47th email from 50 days of writing, David Perell talks about 'One Big Idea.'
In this email, David explains how reading has changed from the obsession for learning to the obsession for consumption. Right from books, podcasts, videos up until Netflix shows, we bing consume, just to sound, look and feel smarter.
In contrast to the sprint to read every book on Kindle, Charlie Munger once said: “Take a simple idea and take it seriously.” Many of the most successful people I’ve studied have found their edge by putting their faith in one big idea. They’ve committed to the idea and studied it so much that its implications have become second nature.
David goes on to explain the case studies of Rich Barton and Richard Mosse.
RICH BARTON’S BIG IDEA: POWER TO THE PEOPLE:
Rich Barton has built his career by “bringing power to the people.” Consumer technology markets are notoriously difficult. Repeatable success is almost impossible, so the founders of most successful consumer companies almost never start a second major company. But Barton has founded three billion-dollar companies: Expedia, Zillow, and Glassdoor.
On the surface, they look absolutely different but if you look deeper you see these websites help people in understanding things such as travel, real estate, and corporate recruiting. They used the Internet to remove the information asymmetry between establishment gatekeepers and ordinary consumers.
RICHARD MOSSE’S BIG IDEA: PHOTOGRAPH THE INVISIBLE:
David was mesmerized by Richard Mosse’s Incoming exhibit, where Mosse captured the experience of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East using military-grade thermal detection cameras. Usually, the technology is used for military surveillance, often to identify and track targets. Instead of capturing visible light, it detects body heat, which the human eye cannot see.
Mosse represented his subjects in unfamiliar ways by turning them into inverted silhouettes without identity. Each person glows with body heat. Instead of being divided by race, viewers are united by the shared temperature of humanity.
David Perell finally shares his own One Big Idea. I will not spoil it, just go ahead and read it by subscribing to 50 days of writing.
If we study a panoramic idea for long enough and you’ll start to see its effects everywhere. People with intimate knowledge of One Big Idea monopolize a narrow band of the light spectrum, which gives them access to ideas and opportunities regular people miss. Like Nick, you’ll have the kind of realizations that seem amazing to others, but obvious to you.
After graduating from college, I was trying to do multiple things apart from working full-time and it didn't turn out to be great. The major factor that hurt and stressed me were managing house and work, keeping up with bizarre shift schedules, and a lot of wanderings and interests.
I wanted to write, stream, learn, build and paint all at once. I even set myself time in the calendar but always something would be left behind. It was messier than it seems. I was constantly sleep-deprived, losing focus almost instantaneously, and tired most of the time.
It was until recently that I decided to focus on one big thing and I focussed on writing every day for 50 days. I still don't have my one big idea. It is still in formation, ideation, and to be honest, hidden from the mess I have been piling.
I will let you know how it goes with my One Big Idea on upcoming posts.
Thank you for reading.