What is first principles thinking?

Sure, there’s a lot of textbook definitions and ways that that people view it. But for me, it’s like taking a skill, a process a belief, and being able to deconstruct it into its most essential components. So you know, how there’s James clear, he’s got that book atomic habits, right. And his idea there is with a habit, how do you break it down into its most atomic particles, right, like the absolute smallest part possible? And that’s kind of a you know, what first principles is, but it’s, it’s a little bit more of a macro approach. 

And then you can get specific and tunnel in so for example, with Tesla, and with Elon Musk here, right? When he wanted to get into the electric car business, I think, like batteries or something like that was one of the big barriers, a good battery, a reliable one. It affected everything else about the market and whether people even wanted the car and stuff like that, right? Okay, how much does it cost to buy a battery? 

who’s selling the batteries? He looked at that. And then he ended up realizing like, oh, well, what’s the battery actually made out of? Right? And it’s like, Okay, how much does it cost? If we figured out maybe how to make that, because he figured that piece out, it then drove so much so much innovation, and so much more of like what it is today, with the rocket ships. And with SpaceX, it was the same thing, getting into the rocket business is crazy expensive to buy a rocket is like millions and millions and millions, just one is millions of dollars, it’s gonna blow up and you got to test it a couple times, or whatever the case is. So you need a couple. 

Right? And so then he goes, Well, you recycle these parts anyways, I think they are able to be recycled. So what? What’s it cost? What what is it? What is the rocket made out of? What are the different components of it? How long does it take to build it? He figured all that out. Do you know what I mean? Instead of being like, I’m gonna go to Walmart and buy the parts from there. Right? 

So it’s, it’s just this way to challenge like, that type of thinking for me is so powerful because it applies to everything. And it allows you to cut through the noise pretty effectively, which is great, because we’re not as overwhelmed by like, unwanted stimuli, I think,


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Misbah Haque

Misbah Haque

Misbah Haque is an Indian-American comedian, podcast producer and owner of Pod Mahal in Philadelphia. You can catch him on Tough Times, The Human Evolution Project, Miz Unfiltered and his comedy podcast, Purebred Weirdo. He’s performed at Helium, Broadway Comedy Club and opened for headliner Chuck Nice at Soul Joel’s Comedy Club & Lounge. His favorite venue is the one behind his eyelids.

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