Chicken or egg first?

Chicken or egg first?

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4 min read

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First, this is not a scientific article but an analysis of how to solve problems encountered in life and work. Let's take a look at the following issues:

If we can hire top talents, our business will develop better and faster; if our company develops better and quicker, we can hire top talents.

Build a great corporate culture like Google and provide the world's best products and services; use the best products and services to build a great corporate culture.

We want to have a membership model, but the benefits we can offer members are not enough at the moment; we need to prepare businesses that could provide potential membership benefits, but the membership model is still not on the agenda.

If we have more time, we can deliver better products; if we have already delivered better outcomes, we can get more time.

The team's average level is low, and we must be hands-on to ensure reliable quality delivery, but the team's growth rate is slow. If we are not hands-on, we cannot meet the quality requirements.

Unit testing can ensure quality, but it requires more time. The guru says unit testing can reduce project time and bring immense benefits.

We want to learn and improve ourselves, but our lives and work have taken up much time.

We want to do trendy and cool businesses, but that is a double-edged sword.

There are many problems in life and work, with no clear answer to whether to have the chicken or the egg first. It's a real problem.

But really, it doesn't matter which comes first. It's about what you want.

Startups want to do a good job on their business while building excellent mechanisms like Google.

If the business is a little better, they can hire better people. If the team is better, the company can take off.

They want to do a membership model like Netflix, but the benefits for members are too few for their current businesses.

If they had more time, they could deliver better products.

There are countless contradictions and deadlocks in work and life.

Being trendy and relaxed is a double-edged sword.

It doesn't matter whether you have the chicken or the egg first. Just take a small step forward and run it carefully. The first step is to assume that one of the two exists. Then it's simple:

  • Know what to do (use what you have to do it)

  • Identify the problem (lack of the other thing)

  • Plan the path and execute y = f (x)

  • Wait for the results

Take a small step, choose one, and don't hesitate or waver. Many people are not firm enough in their actions.

Math teachers teach us a standard method when solving problems: assume N, then M, so O. Assume X, then Y, so Z.

The Method of Assumption

Let's look at a math problem for elementary school students:

Example: The perimeter of a rectangle is 36 centimeters. If the length and width are increased by 3 centimeters each, how many square centimeters larger is the new rectangle compared to the original one?

Using the usual problem-solving method, we need to find the difference between the two areas, but we can't determine it based on the conditions given. If we assume that the length and width of the rectangle are 10 centimeters and 8 centimeters, respectively, and each is increased by 3 centimeters, that is (10+3) centimeters and (8+3) centimeters, we can calculate:

Original rectangle area: 10 × 8 = 80 (square centimeters)

New rectangle area: (10+3) × (8+3)

I remember getting stuck in a rut in school, always doubting whether those assumptions were even accurate. It made me fall behind and waste so much time before finally figuring out the answers.

But in the end, after checking with my classmates, we found that the solution was almost identical to what we had discussed earlier.

Although the question was simple, the lesson was profound: there are always more ways to solve a problem than obstacles, so keep looking until you find it.

Confidence isn't just about confidently talking about what you know; it's about having a positive attitude and a problem-solving approach to the unknown.

In the world of startups, there are problems, but most can be boiled down to one thing: the initial beautiful vision and numerous advantages can't be delivered. Promising too much can confuse people and make them feel like everything is possible, but nothing is good enough. This goes for investors and bosses and even more so for users. Keep the features simple and easy to understand. Simplicity is the right way to start.

Here's a breakdown of how to execute it:

  • First, assume that you have the chicken or the egg and evaluate whether the risks are entirely unsolvable.

  • Based on the assumptions, assign different parts and set growth vectors.

  • Each part will make good progress.

  • Risks and problems will converge, showing a decrease in entropy.

  • Find all resources to solve the converged problems.

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