Leverage Hacker

Nathan Murphy's Blog

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Why Do We Chase Unicorns? 

Founders have this weird tendency to aspire and believe they can reach the top 1% of any given field when in reality they never will. I’m talking specifically about startups in this case. The media has helped glorify billion dollar startups (known as ‘Unicorns’) and their founders that have come out of Silicon Valley over the last 10 years.

This has shaped the conversation and ambitions on the ground floor. I’ve spent time with a lot of young first-time entrepreneurs over the last few years. There is a common theme among some of them – they aspire to start billion dollar businesses. 

This doesn’t make sense and is an inefficient use of a generations combined capabilities. Unicorns are not the norm – they are outliers.

You might be thinking – “aren’t we supposed to encourage our future entrepreneurial leaders to reach for the stars?” And I’d agree that we should, but only to an extent. 

The main issue I see with encouraging the goal of joining the ‘3 comma club’ is that it breeds a dangerous environment of unrealistic goals, wasted resources and sets up the individual for a negative toll on their mental health.

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These Two Blogs Will Make You Smarter

I’m ruthless about whose newsletters I stay subscribed to. I feel a certain level of glee when I hit the unsubscribe button on anything in my inbox, knowing that I will never again need to spend precious time or focus on deciding what to do with the information in front of me from that particular sender.

With that said, there are two blogs that I have never unsubscribed from. I credit both of these blogs with having fundamentally altered my thinking multiple times. And why is that a good thing? Well, when you stop changing your mind – you stop learning. So, anything that can challenge my thinking, I welcome. 

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Consumption vs Creation

Are You A Consumer Or A Creator?

Let’s make a reasonable guess that you (yes, I’m talking to you) consume a lot of content on the Internet. Content like blog posts, tweets, articles, photos, gifs and videos. 

You know what’s weird when you think about it? Far less than 5% of people who consume content on the web also add to it. That’s like putting twenty people in a room and then all twenty of them consuming the thoughts of just one of them. 

There’s a consistent phenomenon across many web communities in terms of the ratio of users who create and consume content. The general rule of thumb seems to be: 90% of users consume, 9% create a little and 1% create a lot.

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Investing In Our Future | TEDx Transcript

This is the draft transcript for a TEDx talk I delivered recently for the Sydney campus of NYU. When the video of the talk is uploaded I will edit this post to include a link to the video. 

There’s something about entrepreneurship that makes my soul tingle. Every new venture created is like a voyage into uncharted territory. To me, capitalism actually feels like an art form. Your imagination is your brush, your business model is your paint and the world’s economy is your canvas.

I fell in love with business at the naive age of 15 years old, selling things on eBay. Each morning before school I’d make sure all my items were perfectly listed and each afternoon when I got home I’d pack up my orders ready to drop off at the local post office the next morning. It’s hard to convey the importance of the skills that I learnt doing this. The value of good customer service, learning how to recognise market opportunities and knowing when to double down or when to stop. I wish I could say I was smart with my revenue, but as a 15 year old I spent a lot of my money on the girl I liked at the time.

For all the glory that we place upon the successful entrepreneurs of past generations, the path of a young entrepreneur in the school system is still woefully under supported.

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How To Fall Asleep In 3 Minutes Every Night

How To Fall Asleep Within 3 Minutes Every Night

There’s a trick I’ve used successfully over the last 6 months or so that has helped me consistently fall asleep within 3 minutes every night. In the past I remember laying in bed trying to fall asleep without success – my mind would constantly turn over different ideas and thoughts.

Then I came across a blog post that suggested a sleeping method that seemed way too simple that there was no chance it could work. However, it works – every single time!

I don’t know if there’s a special name for it but you could call it the 478 technique.

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write faster

How To Write Blog Posts 10 Times Faster

I’ve struggled with blogging consistently for a very long time but I think I may have stumbled upon the solution with which I can pump out content regularly and painlessly.  This came about when I was in a discussion with my friend Eric. Eric has a tendency to go on tangents and go very deeply into topics. Sometimes he will talk at length for up to 20 to 30 minutes about any particular subject.

I realised recently that when Eric was speaking, everything he was saying would be perfect for a long form blog post. Eric needed something to help him turn his words into blog posts . If he’s like me (and most likely like you), Eric can’t really be bothered nor have the concentration necessary to sit in front of the computer and type 2000 words on a regular basis .

So what’s the solution? Well all it took was a simple Google search.

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podcasts for entrepreneurs

7 Podcasts That Will Make You A Smarter Entrepreneur

A year ago, I had never listened to a podcast in my entire life. They seemed like this weird thing that old people might do (if you’re old and that offended you – sorry). And yet, podcasts have quickly become a massive new media phenomenon that was arguably catalysed by the success of the narrative podcast called Serial. If you’ve never gotten into podcasts and want to get hooked, that series will do the job.

Podcasts are such a pleasurable way to accompany your commute on public transportation, whilst exercising or doing the chores around the house. Like millions of other newly converted listeners, after finishing listening to Serial I felt like a man who had just been given the sweetest taste of a new drug. Where could I get more of this incredibly engaging content?!

Being a person who is somewhat obsessed with business and entrepreneurship I started to build up a library of all the entrepreneurship, business and startup related podcasts that I could get my hands (or ears?) onto. During this year I’ve consumed more media through podcasts than blogs and books. It’s a behaviour change that I suspect a lot of other people have gone through as well.

So. After listening to all these podcasts for hundreds of hours – which are the best ones that will make you a smarter entrepreneur? Without further ado, here’s the list;

1. How To Start A Startup

How To Start A Startup Podcast

If you’re into billion dollar startups – this podcast is a fanboy’s dream come true. It features lectures from the cream of the Silicon Valley crop. Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, Ben Horowitz, Sam Altman, Marc Andreessen, Brian Chesky and a swath of other household names take turns in teaching a class of fresh faced Stanford students the fundamentals of starting a startup.

Listening to these episodes is the best way to expose yourself to the thinking and best practises of some of the best entrepreneurs in the world. If you don’t operate your business out of Silicon Valley, then this podcast is the best free way to educate yourself in the ways of high growth.

The lectures cover everything from idea generation, acquisition, culture, personal development, raising capital and later stage advice. It’s very hard for me to pick a favourite from this series, they’re all fantastic.

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leveragehacker

When Humanity Becomes God

This is without doubt the most audacious thing I’ve ever written. But I feel it’s an idea that needs to be explored, because I’ve yet to hear it being voiced anywhere else. There is a very high likelihood that some of the following ideas may cause you offence if they contradict some of your personal beliefs. If that’s the case, I apologise, offence is not intended. Keep an open mind and read to the end. Then I invite you to add your thoughts in the comments below.

The underlying theory that I want to propose is that during this century – humanity may very likely cease to exist in its biological physical human form. There is a strong likelihood that our species will stop reproducing and instead advance to a new plane of existence. What form would we instead take? My theory is that we would instead exist as a collective consciousness that is part of the artificial intelligence that will undoubtedly be the most intelligent and capable entity ever created on our planet.

Right about now you probably think I’m crazy. And I don’t blame you. I know this sounds crazy. But hear me out.

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leveragehacker

5 Predictions For The Coming 5 Decades

This is the inaugural post for the leverage hacker blog.  Welcome!

To start off the fun I thought it’d be cool to state where I think the world is currently headed. Some of these are already widely held beliefs – others not so much. So, without further ado – here’s what I’m predicting for the next five decades.

1. Capitalism will be reinvented.

Greater transparency is leading towards unprecedented awareness of our impact on the planet and it’s people. The traditional profit focused model of generating wealth is slowly being realised as unsustainable for the planet and it’s people. This is an age of experimentation and discovery as we seek to design the new systems for which humanity can sustainably operate within. This is the century of the social entrepreneur.

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