Inventing the future

Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital discusses how to unearth the unexplored ideas that will reshape our future. We also talk parenting, decision making, and which generation has the best rap.

Great parenting advice from 58 mins for 20 mins

For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to

Is your brain hungry for more? Don’t miss out! Sign up for our weekly “Brain Food” at

Follow @farnamstreet on Twitter for mind-expanding content. 

Emily Melton (DFJ) – Focus On Forward Momentum

Don’t let anyone else tell you what you are capable of. Their views of what a person should be – unconscious bias

You have to have a bhag but you also need to know that it’s not going to go exactly as planned

The ambition that pushes forward realises success regardless of the path

Perspective – what you see will change depending on where you physically and metaphorically are – and your perspective is going to change over time

Warning: Treturous, steep, The path is not maintained – this sign will show up multiple times for you in your journey.

Anything that’s worth doing is going to be hard

This is not a checklist – no clear trail of how you get up the hill. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t review what’s happened in the past to learn from it

Who’s tried it before, why did that fail – this doesn’t mean that it won’t succeed in the future – but you have to understand the past

Pay it forward (parents) – rocks (markers) to guide you from those who’ve tread before

Seek advice and mentors – there are so many mistakes you can avoid

When you are first learning a new skill it’s thrilling, but when you are comfortable, you’re in a plateau and that’s the most dangerous part

When you get to the top of the peak – you’ll notice that there are many other greater peaks around

Use the trail as a guide – not guardrails

#343: Seth Godin on How to Say “No,” Market Like a Professional, and Win at Life

  • Overwhelm is about shame.
  • Drinking from a firehouse is a really bad way to get hydration
  • I erect my own boundaries
  • You must construct your time in order to do important work

The worlds worst boss – is you

A choice about your time and effort made due to insufficiency is a bad choice

focussing on the hard work (and creating the asset that may not be valuable yet) will become far more rewarding and useful than consistently putting in the long work of the extra hour

Be a professional, consistent – know what your hand washing is

Thinking clearly and strategically allows you to focus on which clients to hire and which to fire when undertaking the hard work

You don’t want the drill, you want the hole. But you don’t actually want the hole, you want a place to put the expansion bit. But you don’t actually want that, you want to put up a shelf. But you don’t actually want that, you want the feeling you’ll get from when your partner is grateful to you for cleaning things up

How might we make things better, by making better things

First you might define your smallest viable audience and test like crazy to ensure they love what you are doing

What keeps us from starting is the idea that we are not as good as we think we are – that when we have defined our smallest audience, if we are rejected by them – it hurts. Living with that fear is the hard work of a professional

Empathy is hard because people are difficult – they don’t want what you want, they don’t think what you think, they don’t believe what you believe – and you want to serve them

stop asking what do you need and start being specific about what you do

Apply constraints to arrive at a minimum viable audience

If you’re drowning – you’re a lousy lifeguard (you’ve got to have self acceptance first)