in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have instilled in me how to break down complex problems into solvable elements → solve each element and reassemble them from the ground up → synthesize and simplify the result into clear takeaways. This approach is also known as “first-principles thinking.”
In pursuit of quick results, today’s workplaces unintentionally encourage hacks and copycatting than critical thinking. I have witnessed first-hand how half-baked strategies, combined with poor execution, result in repeated subpar outcomes. Similarly, in our personal lives, the TikTok culture fills our minds with noise, shoddy reasoning, and false experts.
We can do better. Here we strive to apply first-principles thinking to everything we do—how we diagnose problems, evaluate investment opportunities, and build products.
It’s easy to exist in a silo, but to thrive, we must invest in our communities.
Families: If first principles were the building blocks of knowledge, families are the building blocks of our society. Our relationship with our family sets the baseline for how we perceive and interact with others. As a father of three mixed kids in a multigenerational household, this is a lifelong journey.
Work: How can we be better coworkers and leaders at work in this remote-first world? What tools and best practices can we adopt at work to minimize unnecessary friction?
Culture: As a first-generation Asian American, what can I do to support the AAPI community?
Lead a more self-reliant lifestyle to build a more sustainable future through our everyday decisions: what we eat, what we wear, how we travel, our energy use, etc.
Quote to ponder on (emphasis is mine):
We can do things for ourselves or we can pay others to do them for us. There are the two “systems” that support us; we might call them the “self-reliance” system and the “organization system.” The former tends to produce self-reliant men and women; the latter tends to produce organization men.
In the modern world ... there has been an enormous and historically unique shift: away from self-reliance and toward organization. As a result, people are becoming less self-reliant and more dependent ... They may claim to be more highly educated than any generation before them; but the fact remains that they cannot really do anything for themselves.
It is in the essence of self-reliance that you start now and don’t wait for something to turn up.