Ten Bullets - For The Obsessed 🏴

On uniqueness, micromanaging, and the most harmful two words. Ten Bullets 007.

Published about 1 year ago • 3 min read

To the obsessed,

Welcome back to Ten Bullets.

I'm writing from home-base, NYC. I've never been so sure I belonged somewhere. That took a while though. I needed the right goals, the right friends. Without that, New York was kind of a nightmare.

Now, it's a playground for ambition. The energy here injects with you the right kind of insanity. It convinces you, fully, that you can take over the world.

So, nowhere I'd rather be.

PS: I just went on the Calum Johnson Show.

Calum's a fantastic interviewer. He asked unique questions, and really let me rant on the things I love- how I found my obsession, how I make content, and so on.

Go watch, leave a comment, let me know what you think.

video preview

1. On obsession vs. hustle culture:

Obsession is the opposite of 'hustle culture.'

You don't grind. You don't force anything.

Obsession is natural. When you follow it, it flows like water. Creating isn't work. It's a natural extension of you.

[share on twitter]

2. On building a team to innovate:

"He didn't want anyone on the staff who had amusement park experience. Because he told them, Disneyland wouldn't be an amusement park. He wanted young people who would be willing to learn and make mistakes." - Neal Gabler on Walt Disney (Founders Podcast #2)

3. On 'efficiency':

“If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way. The right way is the hard way. The show was successful because I micromanaged it—every word, every line, every take, every edit, every casting. That’s my way of life." - Jerry Seinfeld, HBR Interview

So much gold in this short interview. Highly rec. Another good line: "I don’t like to be so critical that I get depressed, but I get close."

4. On Steve Jobs' reality-distortion:

"Steve could call up people he didn’t know, and make them do things.” - Steve Wozniak on Jobs (Founders Podcast #214)

If not obvious, I'm addicted to Founders Podcast right now.

5. On Bob Dylan's 'secret.'

“I bought the new Bob Dylan book. I think the trick is, he believed that he was amazing. That’s my trick too." - Van Neistat, The Struggle of Living in NYC

Incredible creator (and video).

6. On when your work is ready:

If you don't get goosebumps, it's not good enough.

[share on twitter]

7. On how Pixar made hit after hit after hit:

"Directors had to go to the outside world, and bring in something new in, that isn’t obvious, so it isn’t derivative of other films." - Ed Catmull, Fortune Interview

First, Ed obsessed over making the first computer-animated film- Toy Story.

Then, he obsessed over preventing Pixar from failing.

8. On note-taking:

twitter profile avatar
Twitter Logo
February 17th 2023

Apple notes > everything. This meme gives me PTSD. (s/o Dylan Jardon for sharing.)

9. On uniqueness:

"I once asked Ryan Holiday about how he developed his writing style. He credited his favorite writers. 'The key is that no one has the same combination of influences,' he said. 'It feels like me because I’m the only person to combine my interests in my way.'" - Billy Oppenheimer

10. On the danger of 'good.'

"There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job."

"Parker’s a young kid, pretty good on the sax. Gets up to play at a cutting session, and he f***s it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he’s laughed off stage. Cries himself to sleep that night, but the next morning, what does he do? He practices … And a year later, he goes back to the Reno and he steps up on that stage, and plays the best motherf***ing solo the world has ever heard. So, imagine if Jones had just said, “Well, that’s okay, Charlie … Good job.” And then Charlie thinks to himself, “Well, sh**, I did do a pretty good job.” End of story…"

- Terence Fletcher, Whiplash (s/o @coltybrah for re-sharing this epic movie. one of my favorites, and a must-watch for the obsessed)

One more thing...

Be a savage. (s/o Danny Miranda)

I’d love to know what you thought of this edition. Reply to this email, or tweet me at @zachpogrob.

If you enjoy this newsletter, spread the obsession and forward it to a friend.

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To read past editions, click here.

Click here to recommend Ten Bullets on Twitter. (I will love you forever)

Stay obsessed,



Ten Bullets - For The Obsessed 🏴

Zach Pogrob

Every Saturday, I send out 10 ideas I can't stop thinking about. To help you build companies, make content, and follow your obsession.

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