KokHsien.com

November 2014

AskReddit

AskReddit is one of my favorite subreddits.

Yesterday there was a thread titled: What event has fucked with your mind the most? and it really contains a lot of sad answers like:

When I was in high school I was over at a friend’s house and we were just hanging out. I went home and he committed suicide a couple of hours later. The thing about it was that he seemed completely normal and happy at the time.

 

When I was ten we went on our first school trip to a reservoir. One of the kids decided he wanted to swim despite warning signs and the teacher saying no. He vanished ten minutes later.

I’ll never forget how blue his body was when he was finally brought to shore.

 

Giving CPR to my father just minutes after his heart stopped. He was already gone.

 

Being locked up in a cell for something I didn’t do. People who’ve never had their rights taken Away or have faced aversion because of who they are have no idea

 

When I was 21, I met the love of my life. We fell in love and spent four absolutely wonderful years together, then her feelings faded and she broke up with me.

I am 100% sure that I will never meet anyone like her, and I would fight all of ISIS blindfolded armed with a tea spoon if it meant she would take me back. It’s been six years and my feelings for her haven’t diminished in the slightest.

I have loved other women since, but not to the degree that I love her.

I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s somewhat distracting.

 

Getting choked by an officer, arresting a random bystander, and watching them taze a close friend for nothing more than walking to our cars. Charged with public intoxication, and the irony, that I was 11 months clean and sober

 

You can read more at the thread here.

What’s yours?

Book Recommendation: Zero to One by Peter Thiel

I just finished Peter Thiel’s Zero to One.

Peter Thiel is widely considered to be the don of the Paypal Mafia, a group of ex-PayPal founders and employees who have since founded their own multi-million and multi-billion technological companies.

Other popular members include:

  • Elon Musk (SpaceX and Tesla)
  • Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn)
  • David O. Sacks (Yammer)
  • Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim (Youtube)
  • Jeremy Stoppelman and Russell Simons (Yelp)

He talks about how modern technology and most businesses are stagnating as most people are taught and conditioned throughout their whole lives to just repeat conventional truths and do what other people already know. Using conventional wisdom to improve existing products incrementally is moving from 1 to n.

Innovation however is to create something completely new — the process of moving from 0 to 1. Startups need to realize that in order to survive in the market, they need to build a product that is significantly better than existing options (at least 10x better), and the easiest way to do that is to create something totally new.

Startups that can do this will be able to monopolize their market and escape from competition. He argues that monopolies drive innovation and allow businesses to last long while competition actually destroys profits.

How does one create something innovative? The key here is to look for secrets in life, secrets about the natural world or people that other people don’t realize. Finding a secret is hard, but once you find it, you can create something valuable that no one else is current doing.

The book is filled with great business advice, anecdotes from his PayPal days, philosophy, intellectual insights, his view on the world and his vision for the future of humanity.

I work in a startup and his insights really enlightened me. My only complaint is that it’s too short. Excellent book.

Rating: 9/10

New Beginning

Hello world.
I bought this domain today and decided to start a new blog.

Why, you might ask?
I just felt like it.

It has been years since I last written a blog post so I don’t really have a plan for this blog.

For now I’ll just be posting my thoughts on random stuff and share interesting things I find on the internet or in real life.

Here’s to a new beginning.