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Ness Labs: Make the most of your mind
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A Summary of

Marc Andreessen On Productivity, Scheduling, Reading Habits, Work, and More

Marc Andreessen, Sriram Krishnan
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  • Try to have as "programmed" a day as possible. Follow the calendar very closely, and try to put basically everything on it.

The value of open time and delegation

  • It's important to put open time on the calendar, rather than scheduling yourself to the 'nth' degree. Doing so gives you time to think, flexibility, and prevents micro-managing of others.
  • Put projects that you're directly responsible for on your own calendar. Check in with the people in charge of other projects on a regular, though not overbearing, basis.

Goals and systems

  • About once a year, rewrite your personal plan. Write from scratch what you're actually trying to do and your goals and then line up the activities that are below that.

Process, outcomes, and bets

  • The craft of investing is separating process and outcome. Try to optimize the process. The outcomes come 5-10 years later and are too far out to use as metrics to measure results effectively.


  • Read things that are either up to this minute or things that are timeless.
  • There's no need to try to finish every book that you start.
  • The most interesting books are the ones that you finish.

Learning and alternate viewpoints

  • Most people really don't want to change their mind. Try to spend less time arguing with these people.
  • Sometimes you'll meet a group of people who do love to change their mind and are receptive to engaging with alternate views.

Improvement and motivation

  • You need to be close to the ground and be willing to revise your views.
  • Technology improvement is the most useful and most beneficial thing to really advance the quality of life for virtually everybody.

The 'Build' essay

  • There are three things we need to focus on building — healthcare, education, and housing.
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