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Move fast, break things

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

‘Move Fast, Break Things’ was one of Mark Zuckerberg's famous mantras when Facebook was in a hyper-growth phase. It applies to startups, who need to get stuff done super quickly so that they can get it in front of users, get feedback, and then improve the product.

The "move fast" part applies to all sorts of non-startup realms as well.

If I might toot my own horn for a moment, I think one of reasons my side projects (business, YouTube channel etc) have been ‘successful' is that I tend to move quite fast.

In 2013, when I had the idea to start a company teaching courses for medicine applicants, I recruited some friends the same night, and the website was up and taking bookings within a week. We hadn't registered the ‘company’, we hadn’t even created the course material at that point - we just moved fast and did things as and when they needed to be done.

Equally, in 2017 when I had the idea for making YouTube videos, I found a few YouTube tutorials, and made 10 videos whilst on my medical elective, not caring much about making them perfect, just caring about making them. A few weeks into this, when I had the idea of ‘maybe I should start a vlog’, I whacked out my phone there and then, and filmed an ‘I’m starting a vlog’ video. I edited and uploaded it that same evening. And that was the start of what’s (so far) been a 2.5 year journey that’s changed my life.

Lots of my friends have tried to get projects off the ground. The ones who succeeded (however they'd define that) are the ones who moved fast. The ones who didn't tended to spend way too long planning,  brainstorming and waiting for the conditions to be ideal before getting started.

So if you're thinking about starting something, whatever it is, stop thinking. Just start. You can always correct course later.

Have a great week!

Ali


This week on Not Overthinking

Not Overthinking is the

weekly

podcast

hosted by me and my brother. If you enjoy these emails, you’ll hopefully like that too. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castro (my favourite podcast app) or any other podcast app - just search for ‘Not Overthinking’.

Low Optionality and Adult Friendships | Not Overthinking

This week we talk about a few topics that Taimur's been noticing more and more — low social optionality (applied to adult friendships), the plight of kids in society, and treating your personal life like a business. We also touch on the ideology of social media lynch mobs/"haters".

My Favourite Things this week

1 - Article

- One Life Against the World - I enjoyed this short, thought-provoking read about the differences (in feelings and in impact) between saving one life vs saving multiple lives.

2 - YouTube channel

- I recently discovered Binging with Babish, a fantastic YouTube channel that's really got me fired up about learning how to cook properly. There's nothing fancy about the camerawork or editing - it's just a really engaging, well put-together series of videos that now has over 6 million subscribers(!).

3 - Audiobook

- I was on a road trip with my cousin last week, and introduced him to the Mistborn fantasy book series by Brandon Sanderson (via Audible). I first read Mistborn around 2 years ago when I first started this email newsletter, and talked about it extensively, but if you haven't heard my plugs for it before, please do yourself a favour and read the series / listen to it on Audible. It's genuinely incredible, and a great introduction to the world of Brandon Sanderson #fanboy.

Quote of the Week

We can aim high, seek to change the world, yet always be satisfied with the outcome. The Stoics have taken the reclusive Epicurean instruction to desire only what you already have, and allowed it to be active, engaged and vital.

From Happy by Derren Brown. Resurfaced with Readwise.

Video of the Week

Newsletter

Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.