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[VIC - 168] Fighting fire with fire...

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August 9 · Issue #168 · View online
Jeremy Hurst
There’s a saying that says “you should fight fire with fire”. Sounds pretty crazy to me. I’d rather fight fire with water, or better yet sand or foam.

Business & Money
In business, it’s best not to battle incumbents head-on. It’s a losing proposition. Shopify is a great example. Rather than try to compete with Amazon by building another marketplace, better to build a platform on top of which merchants can build their own digital storefronts. It’s orthogonal to Amazon’s business model and aligns incentives perfectly with merchants.
Human Progress
There seems to be a tendency among humans to relegate important conversations to the shadows. Politics, religion, sex, money, race, all are uncomfortable topics for many (most?).
If we’re to get the human progress train back on the tracks, exercising our “difficult conversations” muscle feels like it should become a priority of the highest order.
Philosophy
One of the few times it does make sense to fight fire with fire is when it comes to questions.
The other day, my 7-year-old niece asked me a question. “Immobu, how hot is lava?” Rather than simply answer, I said “why do you ask?” What could have been a simple question-answer exchange turned into an interesting conversation about how volcanoes form, where they form, earthquakes, and many other things.
Often the real learning lies a few layers beneath the first question.
My Latest Discovery
You’ve likely noticed the brief format of this month’s VIC. I was inspired by Screenshot Essays. I find that thoughtful yet succinct communication is both a skill and an art form.
It's A Wrap!
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