What Matters is that you Measure What Matters

Such a cool book. After having gettting myself stoked for Learning About Ultralearning, got lazer focused learning from John Doerr, one of Google’s first investors.


Now this book is pretty interesting, all things considered. It explains a more effective way to make goals. More importantly, goals that scale with your business. But I am already getting ahead of myself.

John Doerr uses a number of different case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of using a system for establishing goals that are incredibly responsive to the changing needs of any business (or lifestyle). Having first learned the importance of goal setting from the behemoth INTEL, it was discovered that goals can be incredibly effective. The operative word here is “can”.

You see, goals have this impeccable way of aligning and stretching organizations and people. But at the same time, that can mean that people of the organzaiton are being stretched to whatever direction they are being aligned. And that can mean “whoever yells the loudest.”

What Doerr proposes, as he has probably thousands of times, is that what people need to do is define simply what objective they would like to accomplish and then define what the key results will be for accomplishing the objective. Hence, “Objective Key Results” or OKRs.

So let me explain with the use of a story. You see, I am in the middle of a project right now, an ultra learning project, that is fairly well defined. And as I go along, the scope of the project has the propensity to grow. And the goal for the project seems to be increasingly more difficult to manage. Why? Because the goal (read 100 books) is as simple as that. Now, I have been making blog posts, and I have been making videos, and I have even been letting people know on social media what it is that I am working on. But that’s really only the start, I am also telling others about the project, I am shopping for other books, I am asking for recommendations… essentially, I am investing a tremendous amount of time around projects that have nothing to do with the central goal (read 100 books).

So let’s make an OKR

Objective: Read 100 Books

The important thing here is that we need to be able to obviously be able to “prove” that this was done. Otherwise, I could say that it was done, say that I read 100 books, and voila I made my goal. 🙂 See, that’s a terrible way to make progress: lie, lie, lie.

So what do we do about it? Well, I fell like asking the classic “who, what, where, when, why, which, and how” questions can really establish the Key Results portion of the OKR.

Key Results:

What will be observably true once I have read 100 books? Well… nothing explicitly except maybe the passage of time. But one of the key features of OKRs is that time is not necessarily a factor if you don’t need/want it to be.

Where will it be observably true that I have read 100 book? What about a dedicated page on my website that shows all the different books I have read? That sounds like our first Key Result.

Key Result #1: Make 1 page on alixander.co where you can find the list of 100 books I have read.

Okay, so let’s say that we can just make a list on my website and call it good… then we are back at square one with lie to get results. Let’s try this again.

How will it be observably true that I have read 100 books? What about I make a book review of every book that I have read on youtube.com? Perfect!

Key Result #2: Create 100 YouTube videos for every book that I have read where I review the key concepts from each book.

That’s great now lets dig in just a little bit more. Lets say that I simply read through the wikipedia pages and watch youtube videos to understand the basic concepts…. again, not necessarily at square one but we aren’t as close as we need to be. So let’s try this one more time.

What will be observably true that I have read 100 books? What about I make a blog post that goes in deeper into what I have read and thereby showcasing my grasp of the knowledge I have grappled with? That’s exactly the right answer.

Key Result #3: Create 100 Blog Posts for each of the 100 Videos with a minimum of 1000 words

Now that is what I call key results!

That’s what I call OKRs!

Now, OKRs don’t necessarily make it easier to get your goals completed. What OKRs do is they enable you to Measure What Matters, and what matters?

Say it with me now, “RESULTS MATTER!”


And when you confidently know what results you are striving for you can ask the all important questions: How did we do? Did we accomplish our objective? What do our results look like?

But how you answer those questions you see is the most un-intuitive thing about OKRs that I found. You see, when we are working towards goals, we can offer only two answers to the goal: did we or did we not achieve the goal. What’s particularly interesting about OKRs is that you can make use of a grading system, or a metric for our accomplishments.

Essentially it works like this, according to Google: on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0, how well did you achieve the objective?

Let’s say you review the objective once all of the key results are in. And lets say that you look at key result number one and you can clearly see that it is completed. So go ahead and give your self like 0.2 towards the objective completion grade. That wasn’t like crazy difficult for a key result, but you did make strides towards completion. If we did nothing else towards this object but made that page 0.2 would be a red. We don’t say failure in the corporate world apparently, but you get a red on your objective completion.

But then let’s say we take a look and in fact you have 100 videos made on youtube. So let’s give your self 0.3. because that was actually pretty hard to do. Now that brings you total of completion measurement to 0.5. And according to the grading system, that would put at a yellow. I guess we can’t say, nice try kid either.

And then we look at the blog posts. Yes, there is 100 blog posts. Yes, they are amazing works of art. But the only thing that you struggled in was the word count. Instead of having 100,000 words, there is 80,000 altogether. Close enough. So we give you a 0.4 because that was crazy difficult and you essentially wrote a novel. Good for you! That brings your total completion grade to a 0.9, and according to the Google grading system you are in the green. And we all know how much we love green.

Sum Up

So there you have it, I have completed this blog post and I have definitely showcased one more piece of how I am working to accomplish my objective of reading 100 books.

When you are interested in learning more about the project, or have any suggestions for me, please let me know!

Learning About Learning in Ultralearning


Pretty exciting to follow Scott Young on his cool book Ultralearning.

Seriously, made me reconsider how I approach all projects that I do. Including the one I’m currently on, which I would affectionately call my 100 book challenge.


Well there’s a lot of things about this book that I don’t necessarily agree with, I think that the practical nature the practice , of this book  any reader regardless of skill level in any project that they find themselves in.

Where I do find that Scott young falls short is in his understanding of learning, from a psychological basis. In psychology learning is a really difficult thing to measure. So learning has kind of been defined to a change of behavior. Psychologists and scientists can determine whether learning has occurred if behavior has changed. This point is entirely missed by Scott Young, and I think not using a psychological definition of learning underminds a lot of the work that he’s doing in this book.

So ultimately, Scott Young’s book is describing how to learn, or change your behavior, at a very aggressive rate. Other than that, there’s nothing else that I would add or detract from the book. It was a great read through, lots of fun examples and exercises, and useful to anyone who takes self-education seriously.

You can find my bullet notes below:

Alixander’s Bullet Journal Notes

These are my bullet journal notes from Ultralearning, by Scott Young

There are three kinds of learning: low-intensity habits, formal learning, and ultra learning

  • There seems to be a subset of learners who take on the task of learning at a super accelerated rate.
  • Barring genius, these learners rigorously test their limits by making learning an active process.
  • There is a valid need to adopt ultra learning:
    • Specialization can easily be disrupted in the market space
      • Solution: learn new stuff fast
  • Answer these questions when starting out:
    • Why am I learning X
      • Is this subject instrumental value (ie increases my marketability to employers)
      • Is it intrinsic (ie make me happy to do it or brings me value knowing I can)
    • What am I going to learn about X
      • What concepts am I going to learn, or have learned
      • What facts am I going to learn, or have learned
      • What procedures am I going to learn, or have learned
    • How am I going to learn about X
      • Seek scaffolds, like online syllabuses
      • Seek mentors who have done it before, or something like what you are trying to accomplish
  • Focus: initiate, maintain, and optimize
  • Direct or “hands on learning” is best
  • Drills are what make the fundamentals stick
  • Retrieval Testing is how you solidify knowledge
    • SRS (spaced repetition software)
    • Concept Mapping
    • Retrieval quizzing
  • Feedback can lead to a greater level of learning
    • Self-assessment feedback is how did I do
    • Corrective feedback is choose the right answer from many
    • Information feedback is fill in the blank
    • Object feedback is pass/fail
  • Remembering
    • SRS
    • Proceduralization
    • Over-learning
    • Mnemonics
  • Intuition
    • Come up with examples
    • Start from the beginning like you don’t know
    • Try to make it concrete by making real the concept
      • The Feynman Technique
  • Experiment
    • Meta-learning
    • Aggressive experimentation
      • learn from diverse realms
      • Drill down to learn more
      • Try different styles
    • Adopt a growth mindset
      • Copy (ie recreate another artist)
      • Compare (ie compare your work to theirs)
      • Constraint (ie try it again with your other hand)
      • Consistency (ie do it again and again and again)
  • How to do an ultralearning project
    • Do research
      • Topic & Scope
      • Primary Sources
      • Benchmarking
      • Direct Practice
    • Schedule Time
      • How much time
      • When (consistency)
      • Length of time
      • Pilot week (trial run)
    • Execute
      • Metalearning
      • Focus
      • Directness
      • Drill
      • Retrieval
      • Feedback
      • Retention
      • Intuition
      • Experimentation
    • Review results in the end
    • Maintain or master

Find Your New Self in the 5am Club

So just got done reading the 5 AM club….

and it was super cool  here are my very in depth review of it you can watch the YouTube video but I’m gonna take the rest of this blog post to layout the bull in a bullet point fashion the key insights that I got out of the book so here they are:

Key Insights

  • This is a story of Archetypes
    • Billionaire
    • Spell Binder
    • Entrepreneur
    • Artist
  • You have to make each day deliberate, 5am is a choice
  • You have learn to focus on taking time for your self, 5-6am
  • You have to be consistent, results don’t happen – you make them
  • You have to cultivate mind, heart, health, and soul
  • You have to let go of who you are to become anew
  • you have to deliberately make new habits (Atomic Habits & The Power of Habit for more)
    • Trigger
    • Behavior
    • Reward
    • Repeat
      • Crave the trigger
  • It takes 66 repetitions to make a habit that will last
    • the first 22 will be hard – deconstruction of neural pathways
    • The second 22 will be messy – you are installing new neural pathways
    • The last 22 days will be beautiful – you have crystallizing your neural pathways
  • You will see stacking effects when you repeat habits
  • 20/20/20 rule for you 5am hour – Your new morning routine (Sweat/Reflect/Grow)
    • 20 min Sweat workout, kill your cortisol
    • 20 min Reflect on what is important, what you value and become still
      • 10 min write out the perfect day
      • Daily journaling (give up your negativity and your positivity
      • Meditate
    • 20 min Grow upgrade your knowledge & skills
  • Sleep is super important, it is when you have the highest levels of HGH (human growth hormone)
    • 7pm
      • Tech Turned Off
      • Last Meal
    • 8pm
      • Wind down
      • Be with your family and loved ones
    • 9pm
      • Be in bed
      • Go to sleep

I honestly should probably do a review of the bullet Journal method. there’s like a billion of them online but that’s part of why my Keith notes look the way they do. anyway so now I’m gonna get into what’s called the amazing day and this is the Super Gen version of it I can’t actually recreate what’s in his book without my you know plagiarising him and getting in loads of trouble but I can give you the basic rundown and I also can give you his 10 tactics which honestly they are super so you like those annual find them below

The Amazing Day

No-tech Morning Hours

  • 04:30 Alarm goes off
    • Get into your gym clothes
    • Brush your teeth
  • 05:00 Start Sweating
  • 05:20 Start Reflecting
  • 05:40 Start Growing
  • 06:00 End of Victory Hour
  • 06:00 – 08:00 Spend time with family & with your personal project

Tech Midday Hours

  • 08:00 – 13:00 High Value Work
    • 90mins / 90days / 1task
    • 60min work / 10min rest
  • 13:00 – 17:00 Low Value Work
    • Break your fast (16 hours fasting / 8 hours non fasting)
    • Admin
    • Meetings
    • Follow-up
  • 17:00 – 18:00 Disconnect from work / start to do neutral stuff
    • Commute University
    • Massage
    • Workout

No-tech Evening Hours

  • 18:00 – 19:30 Family & personal project time
  • 19:30 – 21:30 Nightly Ritual
  • 21:30 Sleep

I’m just going to really quick lay down the titles for the 10 tactics but I’m not gonna write out all of my notes if you wanna know the good stuff go get the book.

10 Tactics

  1. The tight bubble of total focus
  2. 90/90/1 rule
  3. 60/10 method
  4. The daily 5 concept
  5. Second wind workout
  6. 2 Massage Protocol
  7. Traffic University
  8. Dream Team
  9. Weekly Design
  10. 60 Minute Student

OK that’s it. I’m ready to go move on with my life. and I also need to turn off all my devices at this time.

Would you try to live like this for 66 days?