Transmitters and Receivers

Let's talk about the art of creating something that resonates deeply with others, something people want.

What does that mean? An item or experience that holds value to individuals or, most importantly, to yourself.

However, making something people truly desire is an unpredictable and seemingly random journey few achieve. It's also the ultimate benchmark of success in today's society. If you can pull it off, the sky is the limit.

Before we proceed, let me clarify one thing: making something people want is not the same as pandering to the masses. On the contrary, many of the most successful startups begin with a creator making something they long for.

Making something people want is hard, and it's often counterintuive.

Of course, there are also those who are adept at amplifying current signals, such as a restaurant that caters to an unmet need or a bar that becomes the go-to spot in a college town.

In essence, there are two types of people: transmitters and receivers[2].

In the vast expanse of the human experience, individuals can be likened to components of a complex communication system. Transmitters, much like the pioneers and explorers, are proactive and driven by their own desires and curiosity. They forge ahead, creating and sharing their vision with the world.

Receivers, on the other hand, are akin to tacticians and strategists, carefully observing and analyzing the environment around them. They identify trends and opportunities, refining and amplifying the signals they intercept.

Both types of individuals possess unique strengths that can lead to the creation of valuable and sought-after products or services. Personally, I can relate to the transmitter-like philosophy, driven by my curiosity. However, adaptability is crucial in any situation, and there are times when I must also assume the role of a receiver, gathering intel and adjusting my approach accordingly.

The ability to seamlessly transition between these roles is a powerful combination to achieve your vision[3].

For transmitters, generating new ideas requires tapping into human desires, making things convenient and fast, and streamlining processes to minimize thinking. It involves taking mundane experiences and infusing them with excitement and energy, making them more enjoyable.

Examples of companies that have succeeded in this way include Equinox (which transformed the gym experience), Starbucks (which revolutionized coffee culture), Virgin Atlantic (which made air travel more luxurious), and Wegmans (which changed the grocery store experience)[4].

Meanwhile, receivers should focus on doubling down on what's working, paying attention to paradigm shifts, and brainstorming with others. If you're not sure where to start, look for fields with less competition where you can create something that truly stands out.

For example, the founders of DoorDash recognized the challenges faced by small businesses with food delivery orders. Similarly, Amazon identified the immense potential for exponential growth of the internet and capitalized on it. Meanwhile, the creators of Discord originally developed a chat feature for their game, but then chose to focus and expand on this feature, ultimately leading to the platform's success.

It's important to remember that the next big thing often starts out being dismissed as a "toy." So don't be afraid to pursue your ideas, even if they seem odd or untested.

But beyond the allure of financial gain and [5] lies a deeper and more profound purpose. Making something that comes from the inspiration of your heart is a miracle. It's a rare and exquisite gift that speaks to the very essence of your being. It's a reflection of your soul and your creativity.

Creating something for yourself is the most important aspect of this process. It's about connecting with your innermost desires, exploring your imagination, and letting your heart guide you toward the path of self-discovery. The act of bringing your vision to life is a transformative experience that brings a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and joy that's hard to put into words.

Imagine holding in your hands something that you've created from scratch, something that's a testament to your talent, perseverance, and dedication. It's a feeling of pride that fills your heart and radiates through your entire being. It's a moment of pure magic that transcends time and space.

So, if you have a dream, vision, or burning desire to create something uniquely yours, don't hesitate. Take the leap of faith, and let the miracle unfold before your eyes.

Ultimately, the key is to be aware of the patterns that can lead to creating something people want while staying true to your creative instincts. So follow your curiosity, forget everything I said [6], take, and have fun.

Whether you identify as a transmitter, a receiver, or a combination of both, the most important thing is to follow your heart and pursue what inspires you.




[1] It also means achieving success, wealth, popularity, and more. And whatever other Earthly desire you may have.

[2] Are there more types other than transmitters and receivers? There are so many!!!

In the diverse landscape of human personalities and roles, there are many types beyond transmitters and receivers. Drawing parallels to signal processing components, we can identify several other archetypes:

  1. Modulators: These individuals have the ability to adapt and modify ideas or information, making them more accessible or appealing to a wider audience. They are skilled at encoding complex concepts into digestible formats.

  2. Demodulators: These people excel at deciphering hidden meanings or extracting valuable insights from seemingly unrelated or obscure information. They possess a keen analytical mind and can reveal the core message within a sea of data.

  3. Repeaters: These individuals act as amplifiers and disseminators of information, extending the reach and impact of ideas. They are often well-connected and influential, ensuring that important messages are heard and understood by the intended audience.

  4. Filters: These people have a discerning eye and can separate the essential from the trivial. They are adept at identifying the most relevant and valuable information, focusing on what truly matters and discarding the noise.

  5. Oscillators: These individuals provide a stable foundation and a sense of continuity in various situations. They are reliable and consistent, often serving as a reference point or guiding force for others.

Each of these archetypes, along with transmitters and receivers, plays a vital role in the intricate web of human communication and collaboration.

[3] Need examples? Lenny Rachitsky created this visual about how today’s prominent companies got to where they are. I highly recommend reading his essay.

[4] Inspired by this talk by Evan Williams.

[5] This is something I often think about. Fine, I create a company. But how do I make sure it does not enslave me? A company is a medium by which I can align incentives to do what comes out of my heart's inspiration. But it could be better, and you can lose sight and forget what you wanted to do in the first place. We need better models for people with ideas and visions about the world that do not rely on today's incentive structure of investors, customers, etc.

[6] I’m not contradicting myself, by the way. Learn the medium and throw it out of the window.

Similarly, Picasso said, "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."


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Tags: curiositylifephilosophystartups