VC Twitter and More Tech Lists You Might Like

Here are some subjectively awesome Twitter lists you might want to follow.

Primarily technology and startups related:

And beyond:


👋 Say hi on Twitter and tell me whom I’m missing:

Learning How to Learn (And 20+ Studies)

I’ve been interested in cognitive science and effective learning methods for years. I’ve read multiple books and articles and put many ideas to test. So I thought I’d synthesize my notes into the blog post, add references to scientific studies, and share it with you.

TL;DR

Effective Learning Strategies

  • Distributed learning: study less in each session but more frequently
  • Active recall: actively test your knowledge and skills
  • Distributed recall: space the tests in time and adjust the intervals based on performance
  • Interleaving: practice multiple related yet different skills/concepts simultaneously
  • Elaborative interrogation (quiz-and-recall): ask yourself questions and use the material you’ve learned to answer them
  • Self-explanation and the Feynman technique: explain what you’ve just learned in simple terms

Physiology and Brain’s Health

  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition

Disclaimer and Introduction

I have no formal background in cognitive science or neuroscience and this has been more of a side interest. My understanding is limited and I still need to learn how to effectively and consistently apply all these ideas to practice.

That being said, I found some of the methods described in this article very useful. For example, I’ve used them to learn foreign languages, the basics of programming, and various disciplines covered during the two-year MBA program.

Effective Learning Strategies

Strategy #1: Distributed (Spaced) Learning Practice

In short, it’s better to distribute one’s practice over a period of time than cram it into one day.

In one study elementary school students were asked to study in one of the three ways: massed, clumped, and spaced.

  • Massed = four lessons at a time
  • Clumped = two lessons on one day and two lessons on the next day
  • Spaced = one lesson per day for four days

The “spaced” group performed best, followed by the “clumped” group:

Another study compared comprehension scores under three different conditions:

  1. Read a text once (“single”)
  2. Read a text twice (“massed”)
  3. Read a text twice with a week-long gap (“distributed”)

When tested immediately, the second group performed best. But when tested with a delay of two days, the third group performed best.

This method is also superior for learning motor skills.

How to apply this in practice:

Create a learning schedule or find time to practice a little bit every day or every few days instead of cramming all your learning into one or just a few days.

If you’d like to learn more, read the Wikipedia article on distributed practice.

Strategy #2: Active Recall (Retrieval) Practice

It might be more effective to actively retrieve the information you’ve already learned than passively re-read or try to learn it once again.

One study that compared a method that emphasized study sessions with a method that emphasized tests and found the latter to be more effective for delayed recall.

  • SSSS = four study sessions
  • SSST = three study sessions, followed by one test
  • STTT = one study session, followed by three tests

Even imagining that you might be tested on the material you’re learning might help improve the recall.

How to apply this in practice:

If a few days ago you learned how past tense works in the Spanish language, try to remember the rules or even test yourself on your knowledge — instead of simply re-reading the same material once again.

You can read more about the active recall practice on Wikipedia.

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A Happy Job Launch

Today my co-founder and I are launching the product we’ve been working on for months. It’s an odd time to launch anything but we’re proud of what we’ve built and we hope that our product can also help some people who were laid off recently.

A Happy Job is a team-based and culture-centric recruiting platform. We help job-seekers — engineers at first — find teams that are actively hiring and fit their preferences. Search by product type, tech stack, team set-up, culture, values, working styles or perks.

If you’d like to learn more, keep reading.

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2019 Favorites: Books, Music, Documentaries, and Podcasts

Here’s some content from 2019 that I found noteworthy and enjoyed feeding my mind with. Perhaps some will resonate with you as well.

Books

  • Enlightenment Now
  • The Mind Illuminated
  • Why Buddhism is True
  • Becoming
  • Culture Code
  • Factfulness
  • Refactoring UI
  • The Brain: The Story of You
  • The Story of Your Life and Others
  • The Exhalation: Stories
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Music

  • Mostly my favorite electronic and sometimes jazz music for focus on Spotify
  • Top played: Tycho, Blackmill, Jon Hopkins, Odesza, Phaeleh, Chopin, Bach, Jimmy Smith, Aphex Twin, Grant Green, Bonobo, Brian Eno, Bill Evans, Youandewan
  • New discoveries: East Forest, Tourist, Monolink, Jan Blomqvist, Jonas Saalbach, Laraaji, and Khruangbin

Documentaries and Movies

  • The Mind Explained by Vox on Netflix
  • General Magic
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • One Strange Rock
  • Green Book

Podcasts

  • This Week In Startups
  • How I Built This
  • Rhonda Patrick’s Foundmyfitness
  • Very selectively: Making Sense, Peter Attia’s Drive, Tim Ferriss, Startup Straight Talk by Atrium, YC, a16z, Below the Line, and occasionally Joe Rogan

On Meditation

I’ve been experimenting with and thinking about meditation in recent years and thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you. 

What this post is not: it’s not another “you should meditate” article. Even though I’ve seen quite a few valuable benefits, my practice is still semi-regular. And l debate how much time I’m willing to spend on meditation, given the opportunity cost. 

Instead, I’d like to share a few observations and invite you to share yours. If you have never meditated, some of these ideas might intrigue you and spark an interest in trying. And if you have experience with meditation, I’d love to compare notes!

Here are some realizations I had over time:

1. Our thoughts and emotions largely determine our destiny. And unlike other factors, they are not entirely outside of our control. Of course, they also define our subjective experience.

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On Amsterdam

As we were preparing for the trip, my wife read somewhere that Amsterdam is sometimes called San Francisco of Europe and jokingly told me that I was going to like it. Of course, you cannot truly judge a city based on a short tourist visit during which you only experience the best part but she was right—Amsterdam is now one of my favorites.

Amsterdam is beautiful. One word that was stuck in my head was “decorations”. Everything seems to be impeccably decorated. On the macro scale, the city itself is decorated with canals. On the medium scale, roads and buildings are decorated with trees and flowers. And on the micro-scale, there are thousands of tiny details—from exquisite architectural sculptures to art on building walls.

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Monthly newsletter: technology, startups, business growth and marketing

Monthly Newsletter: Issue 6

Hi, this is an issue of my monthly newsletter. I’ve picked a few interesting articles on technology, startups, growth, marketing and other topics for you.

I hope you enjoy the read with your morning cup of coffee. Let me know what you think! ~Max

Technology and Startups

Growth and Marketing

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Do You Need to Be Technical to Do Marketing in Tech?

I am sometimes asked if one needs to be technical to be successful at marketing of technology products. This question is particularly relevant to product marketing.

The short answer is “it depends”.

It depends on how you define “technical”. Let me explain.

Sometimes when people use the word, they talk about functional technical skills, i.e. being able to use marketing tools. And sometimes they talk about product-related knowledge and skills, i.e. knowing how tech products work.

So let’s break this down into two parts.

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