Beware What Sounds Insightful

John D. Rockefeller Sr. was the richest tycoon of the Gilded Age, at one point valued at two percent of the United States’s GDP. His rise coincided with the creation of the ‘trust’ structure of business — a structure that enabled business practices so unfair and monopolistic the US Government had to create the Sherman antitrust act of 1890 to reign it in.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Hi Cedric,

Based on this article, which writers have you found useful for operational insights, career or business understanding? Any writers that you recommend as an alternative to those writing for entertainment and attention?


I really like @brian’s writing: (The believability there is that he has been an investor in Asia for more than two decades).

I like StaySaaSy for SaaS insights. Here I can’t evaluate believability directly, but it’s clear (to me, at least, given my familiarity with SaaS) that they know what they’re talking about. But I will admit this is a little dangerous, as I’ve been bitten by my inability to directly evaluate believability before.

I like Jason Cohen. He is clearly believable on the topics he writes about.

Rob Walling is good for a bootstrapping context.

I follow April Dunford on her socials for marketing takes. Her positioning work is not only believable, it has also passed the highest bar for my hierarchy of practical evidence (I’ve tested it and it works).

There are more.

I think the main thing here is to just evaluate by believability or according to some hierarchy of practical evidence. And I do some form of @dineshraju’s process for evaluating opinions for things that can’t be easily tested.

Some non-obvious corollaries:

  • Learn in public is nice for the writer, but is only at level 4 of my hierarchy of practical evidence. So I tend to be careful when reading such pieces — usually documentation of the experience is valuable, but the ‘lessons learnt’ or opinions about the skill domain is not that useful.
  • I don’t completely ignore opinions by people who are not believable, but you betcha I place a low weighting on them.
  • ‘Lessons learnt’ essays from people who aren’t believable are usually wrong. Read for the story, discard all the lessons learnt.

Thanks for the compliment Cedric!
I had the same reaction to David Perell’s Thiel piece. I read through the first 3-4 pages, thought something was off, and then closed the tab. I love the chaos energy of this article :smiling_imp:


Thanks for the suggestions. I will review the above sources. I am already familiar with StaySaasy, April Dunford but I haven’t read the others before.

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