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By PASCAL FINETTE

The Heretic is a free bi-weekly dispatch delivering insights into leadership in exponential times. For entrepreneurs, corporate irritants and change makers. Raw, unfiltered and opinionated.

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Jul 24th, 2016

Arguing from First Principles

Arguing from First Principles might be one of the most crucial and powerful positions you can take when designing and building your product or service.

Wikipedia defines First Principles as “[…] a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.”

Elon Musk puts this very eloquently in this short video; personally I find his example insanely great:

When he thought about batteries, conventional wisdom was that a battery costs 600 USD per Kwh. Applying first principle thinking to this product allows you to see that the raw materials which go into making a battery cost only about 80 USD per Kwh on the spot market. Realizing this allows for a radical rethink of how batteries are made and priced and led to Elon’s Mega Factory in Nevada.

This week — Why don’t you look at the assumptions you currently hold about your product and service and apply a healthy dose of First Principle thinking on them?


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