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FASTer - Issue #79

FASTer - Issue #79
By Faizan Siddiqi • Issue #79 • View online
(FOF) Function over Form. Learn this, adopt this, keep it close to your heart. We get lost in over engineering, over design, over delivery, over every thing vs trying to get the job over with. Its a key failing and let me be the first to admit I’ve done my fair share of being trapped in form vs function. Focus on the Function(more).
Why because if you don’t believe me there are many examples that teach us over and over again why simplicity is key.
Craigslist is an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums. It just works. Check it out.
Would be another - best way to buy industrial parts. Simple.
The best reference for information on United States traffic and road signs for over two decades. Every traffic sign contractor uses it. Period.
Matrix, ITA’s original airfare shopping engine, has yielded years of traveler insights and been the origin for many of our innovative flight shopping . Nothing comes close to this when booking flights.
You better believe it, your product or service is neither this important(yet) nor does it need one more tweak. Focus on giving people better outcomes after they use your product vs fixating on design choices or features alone. Some times less is more, but knowing it is priceless. But..wait..its not that simple..
Form is also important to us. We judge books by their covers. We create stereotypes based on visual information. We buy things based on advertisements and pay premium for mint condition. In everything we do, we are highly influenced by our first impressions, which are often created in a single glance. It doesn’t matter if we are looking to buy a car, choosing a neighborhood to live in, or meeting a person for the first time. We’ll always look at what’s on the outside first when making our judgments. But when building, testing, rolling out some thing first time, just get it out there. Form can be enhanced once the function has demand and its been validated. Don’t get caught up in the form alone. Thats the moral of the story if there were any.
The paradox is that form isn’t “just form” anymore.
In todays world, form IS function one could argue. Just know when and where to optimize either or both and not get caught up.
The way to think about it is to use Occam’s razor, Ockham’s razor, or Ocham’s razor (Latin: novacula Occami), also known as the principle of parsimony or the law of parsimony, is the problem-solving principle that “entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity”.
It is generally understood in the sense that with competing theories or explanations, the simpler one, for example a model with fewer parameters, is to be preferred.

Some thing I read. That you should read too. Locus of Control
Within psychology, Locus of Control is considered to be an important aspect of personality. The concept was developed originally Julian Rotter in the 1950s (Rotter, 1966). Locus of Control refers to an individual’s perception about the underlying main causes of events in his/her life.
Or, more simply: Do you believe that your destiny is controlled by yourself or by external forces (such as fate, god, or powerful others)?
Rotter’s view was that behaviour was largely guided by “reinforcements” (rewards and punishments) and that through contingencies such as rewards and punishments, individuals come to hold beliefs about what causes their actions.
These beliefs, in turn, guide what kinds of attitudes and behaviours people adopt. A locus of control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control (external control orientation).“
Thus, locus of control is conceptualized as referring to a unidimensional continuum, ranging from external to internal:
In general, it seems to be psychologically healthy to perceive that one has control over those things which one is capable of influencing. In simplistic terms, a more internal locus of control is generally seen as desirable. Having an Internal locus of control can also be referred to as “self-agency”, “personal control”, “self-determination”,
However, its important to warn people against lapsing in the overly simplistic view notion that internal is good and external is bad (two legs good, four legs bad?).
There are important subtleties and complexities to be considered. For example: Internals can be psychologically unhealthy and unstable.
An internal orientation usually needs to be matched by competence, self-efficacy and opportunity so that the person is able to successfully experience the sense of personal control and responsibility.
Overly internal people who lack competence, efficacy and opportunity can become neurotic, anxious and depressed. In other words, internals need to have a realistic sense of their circle of influence in order to experience ‘success’.
Externals can lead easy-going, relaxed, happy lives. Despite these cautions, psychological research has found that people with a more internal locus of control seem to be better off, e.g., they tend to be more achievement oriented and to get better paid jobs.
However, thought regarding causality is needed here too. Do environmental circumstances (such as privilege and disadvantage) cause LOC beliefs or do the beliefs cause the situation?
Sometimes Locus of Control is seen as a stable, underlying personality construct, but this may be misleading, since the theory and research indicates that that locus of control is largely learned.
There is evidence that, at least to some extent, LOC is a response to circumstances. Understand this for better personal outcomes.
One New Thing (that I learnt recently)
Toyota, the car company, started in the apparel industry of making silk-weaving loom. Sakichi’s first successful invention was accomplished in 1890. It was known as the Toyoda wooden hand loom. Sakichi received his first patent for that loom in 1891. He was 24 years old.
Boring Stuff that Scales
I recently met a person in Karachi. That arguably has the best boring business that they built for them self in retirement. It is as un-sexy as drama free as it comes. Plus it scales for them personally. Not every business is a unicorn. It’s a business that nets him 300k a month. He was a chartered accountant at a bank, when he retired, all hi friends were the whole sellers/store keepers in Joria bazar as they worked with them for 40+ yrs plus adjacent markets. What does this person to do. 4 times a week he delivers change to them for a small fee. He goes to the bank, collects 500, 100, 50, 20 rupee notes and does 4 trips from the bank to the shops.
I asked him, is he not afraid of getting robbed? He said no one has a clue and he has a methodical but varying drop off schedule daily. This is as simple and as complicated as it gets. He doesn’t carry more than 100k in change every run. He does 400k a day spread across 5 hours and essentially collects a small fee for the service. Every one trusts him and he’s been retired 8 years now. He’s 68, he is in the best health of his life as he walks all day. At his last stop daily he meets and greets people and by 3pm he’s home. He doesn’t make a lot of money but he took a skill he had, relationships he has and he monetized a pain point he knows every one has. I asked him how he got started with this. His response was that for 20 yrs the biggest gripe these traders had was to wait in line to get change daily. He went and asked people if they would pay to get change in the morning. They all agreed. He doesn’t collect cash from them daily. But once a week at the bank branch they hand over their weeks cash to him. Clearly he knows the credit risk but he’s now been doing this for 8 years. He identified a market and scaled from 2-3 guys to dozens. He has a system and a hassle free low over head lifestyle. The kicker. He says that his monthly staples purchases are 15-20% cheaper because all the distributors/whole sellers and shop keepers love to give him deals/discounts because they value the work he does.
Find the boring and solve for it.
What you should be Reading
Absolutely any thing. Cant stress that enough all it takes is 36 Pages a day. The math is simple to do 52 books a year if you wanted to.. All you have to do is
52 books / 12 months = 4.3 books a month
4.3 books x 250 pages = 1,075 pages a month
1,075 pages / 30 days = 36 pages a day
So if you want to read 52 books a year…
Just read 36 pages a day.
In that spirit read the best book by a mile on execution. My favorite. Perhaps because of its GE lineage in some ways.
Bossidy, an award-winning executive at General Electric and Allied Signal, came out of retirement to tend to Honeywell (and bring it back to prominence) after it failed to merge with General Electric. It presents the viewpoint that execution (that is, linking a company’s people, strategy, and operations) is what will determine success in today’s business world. Execution is a discipline integral to strategy, that it is the major job of any business leader hoping not just to be a success but to dominate a market, and that it is a core element of corporate culture. Details of both successful and unsuccessful executions at corporations such as Dell, Johnson & Johnson, and Xerox, to name a few, support not only their how-to method for bringing execution to the forefront but also the need for it.
Read it.
Monetize your time
By trying some thing new.
Ever heard that time moves faster as you get older? In part, this is because life stabilizes so much once you enter adulthood. In other words, you fall into a routine, and days become so similar that, before you know it, years have passed.
By trying new things regularly (every 30 days—or even every year!), time becomes marked by these hobbies, no matter how steady your day-to-day work life is.
One of the best and most exciting benefits of trying new things is that you overcome fear. It might sound too good to be true, but the reality is that fear is simply our reaction to the unknown.
So when you try the unknown (and especially when you try it over and over and over), you realize that your mind is usually just exaggerating—that the worst outcome is rarely the true outcome.
What if the next new thing you try is the passion of your life?
Maybe you were always meant to embroider or longboard professionally. Or maybe not. Either way, you’ll learn about yourself.
The benefit of trying new things is that it actually increases your creative capacity. So if you are in a rut try it.
Every single time you put yourself in a new situation, you force your brain to quickly understand a unique set of circumstances, process how to handle those circumstances and develop a new set of skills.
In other words, you’re training your brain to creatively solve every time you try something new.
Made in Pakistan
Freelancers & Solopreneurs, builders and more of them. Spend time to become one.
Andrew Gazdecki
“He’s built ten small businesses and sold four of them on @microacquire.

While comparatively small exits, they’ve helped Mohammad fund larger projects without outside capital, a strategy he believes every bootstrapper should adopt.”
One Last Thing
Pomp 🌪
Our grandparents were addicted to cigarettes, our parents were addicted to sugar, and we are addicted to our phones.
Autocorrect for this, today; before you need to go into rehab. You just read the news letter, go take a walk or sit and think about how, if any thing you read can help you do things differently and how you will action it. Vs scrolling endlessly for the next content high. Do your self a favor, recognize that you are getting addicted and take action today.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Faizan Siddiqi

I have been fortunate to have mentored founders, established CEO's & students for about a decade, across the world. Every interaction has been an enriching experience for me personally. What I've observed , every one wants to do things FASTer. Be successful faster, be richer faster, do more faster, get to the end state faster. To grow FASTer you must learn to rely on small data, small acts & pick up on small nuances. Most people need a little push, contextually aware advice, directionality and a candid forum to learn from mistakes, perhaps their own but ideally from the mistake of others. This is an attempt to provide a safe space to answer the questions you don't ask in public and providing Go To Market Snippets on every day things, so you can truly Transform to your desired end-state, FASTer.

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