Useless Hacks

Morgan Housel wrote a great post this week about Useful Hacks. Here’s an example I liked:

Writing hack: Write every day for years.

I’m often asked by people on how they can improve their writing or blogs or client communications. This is pretty much it. Write more.

I’m all for efficiency but at a certain point, you simply have to put in the work.

The information age has left us awash in life hack blogs, podcasts and books. Some of these can be helpful. Many are not.

In the spirit of Charlie Munger’s idea of, “Invert, always invert,” I decided to take the other side of Morgan’s useful hacks and look at some useless hacks people ascribe to these days. Here goes:

How to be a CEO: Simply follow your favorite successful CEO’s morning routine. Make sure to wake up by 4am every day, read 3 books before breakfast, workout, and get to inbox zero before leaving for the office.

How to find successful investments: Just follow your favorite hedge fund manager into their latest trade you read about in the headlines. Billionaires have the same exact risk tolerance and time horizon as you.

How to be a better leader: Post inspirational quotes on pictures of sunsets.

How to save money as a young person: Complain about the generations that came before you and how badly they screwed you over. Don’t try to improve your career prospects to earn more money. Avoid personal finance books. And don’t live within your means — you can always start saving later.

How to start a blog: Design the perfect website. Develop a strategy to get as many email subscribers as you can. Hire an SEO consultant. Don’t worry about producing good content people will actually read.

How to beat the market: Trade…a lot. Forget about the long-term, focus exclusively on the news of the day, trade every economic data release and make sure to allow your personal politics to guide your actions in the markets.

How to start a business: Don’t think about the end consumer at all. Buy as many business books as you can and just study the most successful businesses of all-time. Don’t worry about the ones that failed.

How to sell a product: Buy business cards and set up your social media accounts. Don’t worry about whether there’s an addressable market for your product or not.

How to get in shape: Change up to a different fad diet once every month or so. Buy workout equipment from infomercials. Those always work.

How to get ahead in your career: Stop learning immediately after you get your degree. Don’t develop any intrapersonal skills. There’s no need to make things happen on your own; just hope and pray someone will take a chance on you

How to be more productive: Find a lifestyle guru on Twitter. Don’t worry about routines or systems. Focus mainly on tactics.

How to get out of debt: Avoid budgeting like the plague and don’t automate your finances. I’m sure you can pay your debt off through sheer willpower alone.

How to get your personal finances in order: Try to keep up with your peers in terms of vacations, buying expensive toys, and spending. Envy is a great way to prioritize your spending habits.

How to get rich: Read a book where the author shares their secret to becoming wealthy. Follow the 10-step process that’s probably an acronym and just wait for the money to start pouring in.


Now here’s what I’ve been reading this week: