Achieving Groundbreaking Innovation through First Principle Thinking

Achieving Groundbreaking Innovation through First Principle Thinking

It may seem that practicing First Principle Thinking requires more mental energy and intellectual rigor, but it simply requires a different type of thinking and intellectual rigor. 

By definition, true innovation only occurs if we start with the First Principle. To make the leap from the impossible to the possible, we can't just iterate on what already exists.

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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  1. Identify the problem you want to solve.
  2. List all the reasons you can't solve this problem.
  3. List all obvious solutions that apply but don't solve the problem adequately.
  4. Ask yourself: "If I could create a solution based on my desires, what would that solution be?"
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"All great Acts of Genius began with the same consideration: Do not be constrained by your present reality."

Leonardo Da Vinci

First Principle

Is a foundational truth that is "known by nature". It is not an assumption or deduction based on another theory or supposition but it’s also not an absolute truth but rather an observed one, meaning further analysis might prove it imprecise.

The CEO might re-envision the way his company tackles development, by bringing in other departments that don't normally get to participate in this work, and creating incentives for original thinking from anyone in the company.

On a personal level, you may make yourself more open to other people's perspectives and find value on discussions that you may not have previously had. 

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RELATED IDEAS

Elon Musk

"I tend to approach things from a physics framework. And physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, OK, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. And 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 2 percent of the typical price—which is a crazy ratio for a large mechanical product."

First Principles: How to think like Tesla CEO Elon Musk [Video]

evannex.com

No big meetings

Don't hold large meetings, except if they are providing value to everyone. Then keep the meeting short.

A typical meeting should involve no more than 4 - 6 people. Before you send out your next invite list ask: Who on this list will add (or receive) the most value? Is there anyone who doesn't need to be there?

Elon Musk limits meetings at Tesla to only 6 people - and says employees should 'walk out' if nothing's getting accomplished

businessinsider.com

Hidden games

Hidden games are played in sandboxes that people don’t even realize exist. Hidden games have a higher return, but they are more long-term and abstract. For example, a hidden game is starting a business in an unsexy industry (i.e., building tunnels with Elon Musk).

Learning Speed: What Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, And Bill Gates Know That Most People Don’t

medium.com

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