The Habit Of Thinking In First Principles


In a fantastic interview, Musk explains one of the core philosophies that has guided him during his bold entrepreneurial ventures.

“I think it is important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [When reasoning by analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done or it is like what other people are doing — slight iterations on a theme.

First principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, ‘What are we sure is true?’ … and then reason up from there.”

Key Insight

it is important to also reason from first principles rather than only by analogy.