Steve Jobs negotiation tactics: Masterful framing of facts and concise turns of phrases

"Analysts estimate that Amazon has sold more than one million Kindles in 18+ months (Amazon has never said). We will sell more of our new devices than all of the Kindles ever sold during the first few weeks they are on sale. If you stick with just Amazon, Sony, etc., you will likely be sitting on the sidelines of the mainstream ebook revolution."

--Steve Jobs to Rupert Murdoch in contract negotiations prior to the launch of the iPad, 2009 (

Power moves, man. Power moves. Respect.

The capper on this thread:

"Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see any other alternatives. Do you?"

The Three Kinds of Laziness

We speak of three kinds of laziness. The first is simply to spend all your time eating and sleeping. The second is to tell yourself, "Someone like me will never manage to perfect themselves." In the Buddhist context, such laziness makes you feel that it's pointless even trying, you'll never attain any spiritual realization. Discouragement makes you prefer not even to begin making any effort. And the third kind... is to waste your life on tasks of secondary importance, without ever getting down to what's most essential. You spend all your time trying to resolve minor problems, one after another in an endless sequence, like ripples on the surface of a lake. You tell yourself that once you've finished this or that project you'll start giving some meaning to your life. 


The antidote to the first kind of laziness— only wanting to eat and sleep— is to reflect on death and the impermanent nature of everything. We never know when we're going to die or what circumstances are going to lead to our death. So there isn't a moment to lose in getting down to what's really essential. The antidote to the second kind of laziness — feeling too discouraged to commit ourselves to spiritual practice—is to reflect on the benefits that such inner transformation will bring. The antidote to the third kind—attending to details rather than to the essentials—is to realize that the only way to get to the end of our endless projects is to drop them, and then turn to what gives life its meaning without waiting any longer. Life is short, and if we want to develop our inner qualities it's never too soon to start getting down to it. 

—Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist Monk and Molecular Biology PhD, in his book of conversations with his philosopher father, "The Monk and the Philosopher"

Peter Thiel: VC should be about well-formed ideas about the future, not hemming and hawing about access to good deals

Whereas before investors actually had ideas, today they focus on managing risk. Very rarely in the hedge fund world do people ask questions about what’s going to happen in the future. It’s less, “What should we do?” and more, “How do we manage risk? Yet again, process trumps substance. Venture capital has fallen victim to this too.  Instead of being about well-formed ideas about future, the big question today is how can you get access to good deals. In theory at least, VC should have very little in common with such a statistical approach to the future.  

--Peter Thiel

From a very fascinating class notes on his CS183 lecture "You are not a lottery ticket."

"I wish we could take it away from people for a day so they could remember what it was like without it." -Bill Gates


Wired: Peter Thiel, expressing his dissatisfaction with technology’s progress, recently noted, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” Do you agree with him?

Bill Gates: I feel sorry for Peter Thiel. Did he really want flying cars? Flying cars are not a very efficient way to move things from one point to another. On the other hand, 20 years ago we had the idea that information could become available at your fingertips. We got that done. Now everyone takes it for granted that you can look up movie reviews, track locations, and order stuff online. I wish there was a way we could take it away from people for a day so they could remember what it was like without it.

--Bill Gates in a recent Wired interview with Steven Levy