"Focus" is bs psyop advice, correct?

Every time I have focused on one thing to the exclusion of all else I have failed.

Win at interesting things that give you confidence, reduce your incorrect-powerlessness and reduce incorrectly-closed doors

Seems to be the correct advice.


It’s good advice in one context: when you have a test and aren’t doing enough practice problems. Rebalancing your time to make sure you do enough problems is probably good advice. There’s a single threshold to meet so just clear the threshold, but even then you should have time for other things.

Outside of that: It’s bad advice precisely because your domain of “focus” is someone else’s “interesting game” and you’re gonna get cleaned up, systems>goals.


Yeah, not only this but the most successful founders often had other projects on the go even while starting their main companies. The Stripe founders were working on more than just Stripe, Zuck was working on Wirehog, etc.

People probably look at unsuccessful founders and assume their many projects are the causal reason for their failure: ‘if he had only just focused on one…’.


Think goal/system dichotomy is actually effectively psyop and should be replaced with ‘don’t take on a surrogate goal structure or model structure’.


similarly “conviction” is bullshit

From The Facebook Effect:

Facebook seemed to be thriving, but Zuckerberg was thinking about Wirehog almost as much. “What was so bizarre about the way Facebook was unfolding at that point,” says Sean Parker, “is that Mark just didn’t totally believe in it and wanted to go and do all these other things.” Zuckerberg felt he had cause to hedge his bets. He was worried that once Thefacebook began trying to expand beyond college it would hit a wall of resistance. He was genuinely unsure which of his projects would ultimately lead to the best business. And it wasn’t just about business. Zuckerberg hadn’t changed much since he was just out of Exeter and turned down millions for Synapse, the MP3-playing tool he built with D’Angelo. The ideas were at least as interesting as the prospect of riches.

In any case he was confident one of his projects would really catch fire. Maybe it would be Wirehog. “Mark always talked about how he just liked to start things, especially back then,” says Dustin Moskovitz. “He was like ‘My life plan basically is I’ll prototype a bunch of these apps and then like try and get people to run them for me.’”


Well-- they all have focus and conviction but on a higher level than their current single project (they will succeed whether or not the current venture takes them there).

But caring about the single project that has not yet worked seems to just be bs (which is the bs you’d expect to emerge when you have stakeholders in single projects…).

Very important question: How to remove psyop from yourself? Crucial.

1 Like