Victory Through Clarity

“Recipes tell you nothing. Learning techniques is the key."

Tom Colicchio, chef

I firmly believe in the benefits of bulk positive randomness. By being exposed to many random influences, you inevitably find resources directly related to your interests.

Today, this article by Garry Kasparov popped up in my feed reader: The Bobby Fisher Defense.

It’s worth a read.

Chess has little to do with the practice of business, but there’s a great deal of overlap in thinking objectively, managing internal states, reading the opponent correctly, and updating your strategy as the environment changes.

Here’s the part of Kasparov’s essay that jumped out at me:

In his play, Fischer was amazingly objective, long before computers stripped away so many of the dogmas and assumptions humans have used to navigate the game for centuries. Positions that had been long considered inferior were revitalized by Fischer’s ability to look at everything afresh… Fischer’s modern interpretation of “victory through clarity" was a revelation.

Victory through clarity. Now there’s a phrase worth remembering.

How to Achieve Victory Through Clarity

“Victory Through Clarity" describes the focus of my work. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t write posts like this:

  • 17 hot new startup trends
  • How to write a killer resume that gets you a job - fast!
  • How to raise a gazillion dollars of Venture Capital
  • Do you have a low business IQ?
  • Why being like Madonna is secret of business success

Tactics are useful… but only to a point. Learning how to think like a successful businessperson is how you select the useful tactics.

Do you ever wonder how successful business leaders consistently make good decisions? There are no magic businesspeople - they’ve simply internalized a set of mental models that accurately reflects how the world really works. They achieve victory through clarity.

That’s why…

  • It’s better to know why certain businesses are attractive, so you can take advantage of opportunities before they become trends.
  • It’s better to understand what employers are looking for when hiring an employee, so you can emphasize your Economically Valuable Skills.
  • It’s useful to know how to raise money, but it’s important to understand whether or not raising money is absolutely necessary.
  • It’s beneficial to deeply understand how the human mind works, so you can consistently present your suggestions in a brain-friendly way.
  • It’s worthwhile studying what sorts of things attract attention, so you can build your business to take full advantage of those things.

Business is actually an applied subset of a much larger subject: human rationality. The more accurate information you have about the world, the more clearly you think, and the better you manage your internal state, the better you’ll ultimately do.

The objective of the Personal MBA is to help you achieve victory through clarity - to help you fully understand how the business world actually works.

That’s why we focus on principles, not tactics.

Read more essays by Josh Kaufman →

Published: May 18, 2011Last updated: May 18, 2011

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