Practical ways to use First Principles Thinking - Deepstash

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Use First Principles Thinking to Solve Impossible Problems

Practical ways to use First Principles Thinking

  • If you’re starting a business, use first principles to build a product or service that’s fundamentally better than the competition.
  • If your day is too busy, first principles thinking could help you get everything done in less time and with less stress.
  • If you’re trying to get healthier, building from the first principles will help you build a routine that works for you rather than struggling with diets and exercises you hate.

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Albert Einstein

"If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minute..."

Albert Einstein
First Principles Thinking
We normally use existing methodologies and analogies to solve problems, which is essentially short-cut thinking.
Engaging in 'First Principles Thinking' makes us discard existing knowledge, and get down to the essentials, exploring on our own and questioning everything. This uncharted terrain takes us to the absolute truth which we call the First Principle. When we understand the core of the problem, we can build creative and unique solutions.
    Using The First Principles Thinking

    The First Principles Thinking can be applied in our daily life:

    • Starting a business requires first principles thinking to build a fundamentally better product or service.
    • On a busy day, first principles thinking makes us do what's essential while not being bogged down with time constraints.
    • Applying the first principles toward good health will make us feel considerably better than obeying some diet or exercise routine that we hate.
    First-principles thinking

    Breaking down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up.

    It’s one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative poten...

    A first principle

    ...is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone. We cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption.

    Reasoning by first principles removes the impurity of assumptions and conventions. What remains is the essentials. 

    Cutting through the dogma

    If we never learn to take something apart, test the assumptions, and reconstruct it, we end up trapped in what other people tell us.

    We remain trapped in the way things have always been done. When the environment changes, we just continue as if things were the same.

    First Principles Thinking
    First Principles Thinking

    Is the act of deconstructing something to the fundamental parts that you know are true and building up from there.

    Also called reasoning from first principles, it effectively he...

    Elon Musk
    Elon Musk

    “Physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, okay, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.”

    One Method, Different Solutions

    Different solutions present themselves at different layers of abstraction. Depending on how deep and thorough is your breakdown of the situation, putting them all back together may yield different solutions.