First Principle Thinking
"We've always done it that way," has been described as the most dangerous sentence in the world. But you're here because you like to challenge the status quo, so start experimenting with this fundamental model for thinking and problem-solving. First Principles Thinking is a means to challenge assumptions and solve complex problems by breaking them down into their most basic elements and reassembling them from the ground up. A TIMELESS APPROACH. It’s a method that has been used since ancient times by the philosopher Aristotle and promoted more recently by Elon Musk. It encourages you to reduce a process to its fundamental parts or underlying assumptions that are the most basic and trustworthy, then building up from there. In science, a first principle is defined as an axiom that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption within that system. See Actionable Takeaways below for more. IN YOUR LATTICEWORK. First principle Thinking arose from mathematics and has impacted scientific fields more broadly. It has some similarities to Occam's Razor in terms of identifying the simplest solutions; and has inspirations from the Scientific Method in terms of identifying and testing assumptions. Be sure to explore the Feynman Technique as a practical way to apply First Principles as habit. You might also apply it to the Minimum Viable Product as you cut away extraneous requirements and features to reach the core value. And to Double Loop Learning, as you challenge your own Mental Models through an iterative process of reflection. Finally, consider exploring Functional Fixedness, Idea Sex and Inversion to help take a fresh look at the familiar.
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