Chris Viglietta

Me in 10 seconds

Hey there, welcome.

I’ve been an actor, media buyer, product manager, music producer, martial artist (black belt!), and writer.

Now, I focus on building software, crafting unique experiences, and marketing.


I'm building MakeSomethingEpic.com and creating a cult following at The Epic Newsletter to "scratch my itch" when it comes to experiential travel and newsletters.

Adventurer, surfer, tech-lover and obsessed with building businesses. Currently, I'm learning about #nocode and automation tools.

California native, I live in Los Angeles.

Previously: Bali 🌴

© Chris Viglietta. All rights reserved.

What Should You Work On?

written by Chris Viglietta

tl;dr

"If what you're working on isn't important, or results in important things, why are you working on it?
"What are the important problems in my field?"

In being successful, what matters is:

1. The right problem
2. The right time
3. The right approach

Idea:
Plant many acorns (small problems) so that they may become oak trees (big solution).
Don't act like a Nobel Peace Prize winner and think you only need to work on big problems.


If what you're working on isn't important, or results in important things, why are you working on it?

Consider three different mentalities of problem solvers.

Person 1: "Oh! There's a nail. How can I create a hammer?"

Person 2: "I have a hammer, are there any nails I can hammer?"

Person 3: "Are there any nails others have hit that I can give another hit or two?"

If you're not working on problems you feel important, you're working on the wrong problems.

"Most scientists spend most of their time working on problems they admit are neither great or likely to lead to great work; hence, almost surely, they will not do important work" - Richard Hamming.

So... what are the right problems?

There are many, however, few people seek them out. Rather, they live day-to-day doing what comes to them and follow the easiest path to tomorrow. Instead, you should spend a lot of time and effort examining important problems in your field.

What can you do today?

Create a list of 10 to 20 problems that might be important with the right approach and timing. When you learn something relevant, apply that knowledge to the right problem and solve it first.

While solving important problems, I believe in the "open-door policy" — share your work.

If you work behind closed doors, you won't know what to work on, and you won't learn relevant news that might be the key to unlocking an important problem on your "list".

Work hard and share your work (reference open startups).*

How hard should you work?

"Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration" — Thomas Edison

There's nothing wrong with working hard — though I resonate with being lazy (reference Lazy Manifesto).

The problem is working hard on the wrong problem, at the wrong time, with the wrong approach.
This happened when I attempted to solve the vanilla problem in Madagascar while in college.

Here are four examples of internet companies ahead of their time:

Pets.com — In late 2000s, the startup crashed after burning through $300 million in ~23 months. WebVan.com — Imagine shopping for groceries and household items online that get delivered to your door.Borders — Pre-internet brick-and-mortar seller of music and books. What happened? Amazon.AskJeeves,com — Originally, a search engine. They pivoted from search to Q&A (ahem, Quora).
"Pioneers get slaughtered and settlers flourish."— Lee Egstrom

As a side note, that's why I'm bullish on companies that support indie makers and creators like Stripe, Carrd, BuyMeACoffee, Substack, and Gumroad. There are ~547,000 websites created daily, globally. I believe in a future of distributed income — less employees, more freelancers.

We have 10,080 minutes in a week.

How much time are you spending on solving important problems?

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” — Earl Nightingale.

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