003 - Shocking Rules x "What You Do is Who You Are"


Quote from What You Do is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz about shocking rules:

Here are the rules for writing a rule so powerful it sets the culture for many years:

It must be memorable. If people forget the rule, they forget the culture.

It must raise the question “Why?” Your rule should be so bizarre and shocking that everybody who hears it is compelled to ask, “Are you serious?”

There are two more rules (straightforward cultural impact, encountered daily).

It sort of shares the same powers from the AIDA model for copywriting:

  • Attention: The shocking part of the rule means that it gets everyone's attention. People hear it 

  • Interest: Everyone asks why this rule is in place and eventually get to the uppercase Why.

  • Desire: There's desire to be someone who does X, because Y. (Or X, because Why.)

  • Action: A shocking rule means that you take daily action on it

If you're starting a daily creative practice, is there a shocking rule you can have in place that will help remind you of why you're starting this?

I've been thinking of (easy-to-remember, if not shocking) rules to follow for this newsletter:

  • Start with audio: To remember that low friction is important to be consistent and consistency over time is important for me

  • Set a timer (currently trying 10 minutes): Need to keep things sustainable and I can't aim to write essays each time (and I need to be able to write shorter things that people read before I write longer things)


Seth Godin's blog: The first 1,000 are the most difficult