Startup productivity? What would Elon musk do?

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

There’s a lot to learn from the guy but what is simple and actionable? One lesson stands out.


The simplest dumbest thing I can take from everything he said is to loop the learning process.

He learns how to learn. He’s constantly evaluating himself in order to improve the underlying process.

Is it madness not to have a learning loop? Apparently yes.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein.

What’s the maths proving that this works?

Yes, there is mathematical proof.

Compound interest means that if you improve 1% every day, you are 37 times better by the end of the year.

“If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365.

That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year.

Get that 1% every single day!” Quote by Zappos team.

How do we normal startup people do this?

So far team Upscope has set up a weekly ‘What are we doing stupid meeting?’

We don’t talk about actions but focus on learning.

Here are the questions we ask

What have we learned?

What are we doing stupidly?

What are we spending time on that is not a priority?

How do we free up time?

How can we 10X the things that work?

If not 10X, how about 2X?

**The questions themselves evolve over time. **We’re looping the learning process itself so we compound the compound interest.

What did we learn already?

We’re not focusing on the right content.

The 10% of content that works is working for a good reason. It’s practical, actionable and that’s what we would want to read. It provides value.

Confirmation bias and not going off numbers is a dangerous reality distortion. We need to measure and learn.

What action can you to take now?

Set up the repeating meeting for Monday morning.

We tried Friday afternoon but that was a mistake, we never managed to put energy into it. The brain is at its most fried and least honest.

Monday seems to work but maybe not in the first hour of the day.

We have to clear up support requests from Asia and other regions that appeared while we slept, that’s our priority.

If you use this advice and it works, let me know how it goes by emailing and I can write a follow up post.

Take your 10 year plan and do it in 6 months

Like Elon Musk, another Paypal mafia guy, Peter Thiel has some great advice. Why can’t you do your 10 year plan in 6 months?

Related: Why customer success metrics are torture that you need.

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Pardeep Kullar Twitter

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope cobrowsing and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.