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  • Writer's pictureLeo Wang

Pain is for evolution!

This article is written to all startup partners in the PreAngel department. Please all founders in the PA department can forward it to all employees. It can be regarded as my 2017 New Year's speech. Passed In this article, I want to share with you Five core ideas. I hope that all members of our big family will have a higher level of awareness in 2017, continue to iterate, continue to evolve, and win more exciting life experiences for themselves.


1. Cognitive model:

From the moment we are born, we are sentenced to "suspended death". We are all a species "born toward death", and our life span will probably not exceed For 120 years, everyone is equal.

In terms of life length, the difference between people is not much, up to 100 times (1 year vs 100 years), and in most cases it is only 20% (60 Years old vs. 80 years old); However, compared with people's achievements, the differences can be tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times; it is very normal for friends and classmates to have differences in life achievements of several times or dozens of times.

What exactly accounts for this difference in life achievement?

In the six years I have been investing, I have met countless investors and entrepreneurs. They have various backgrounds and their achievements vary widely. Although it is difficult to summarize a minimalist formula like E=mC² to calculate (predict) people's future achievements, I still found some essential differences. , these differences determine how much achievement a person can achieve in his life.

The biggest difference between people,

From the difference in "cognitive model"!

About the cognitive model, I wrote in People who get up at five o'clock to sell breakfast are the most diligent, so why don't the capitalists invest? has been discussed in detail, you may wish to take a look again. The cognitive model is not built in a day, nor is it static. I believe that "genes, acquired education, family influence, social environment and national culture" all play a very dominant role in the formation of a person's cognitive model, and these influences occur before a human individual matures (mainly refers to the age of 16 before), so it is not something you can change subjectively. This is the so-called uncontrollable "luck" factor. After a person is born until he matures, he is arranged by fate (luck), and there is not much he can do (not Excluding a few precocious people who will wake up early).

If a person is "lucky" (or lucky) to realize that the "cognitive model" has a crucial impact on a person's life after the age of 16, he can be "conscious" "Place" guides oneself into a Cognitive Virtuous Cycle, through reading, thinking, practicing, and making valuable friends , worship the real master, practice deliberately day after day, and improve by 1% every day, you can improve 38 times in a year. If ten years can be counted as an era, then anyone can improve themselves by 1%. Within ten years of entering the "cognitive virtuous cycle", I have achieved great achievements and opened up a huge gap with my friends who played with me at the beginning. This gap may be ten times, a hundred times or even a thousand times.

If you didn't realize the importance of cognitive models when you were 16 years old, and "made it" today in a daze, then today is your lucky day. From today on, from now on From now on, you must face up to your "cognitive model". You can no longer let it wander randomly. You must consciously manage it, carve it, and let it move toward a virtuous cycle. Make a little progress every day.

Start by reading, read classic books, and think deeply;

Start with the work and do the job well at all costs.

The virtuous cycle of cognition is a huge upward "whirlpool". Once you push yourself into this vortex, you will be pushed toward the end of your life by the spiraling power. peak. Give yourself a year to upgrade. During this year, don’t complain about work and life, don’t give up easily, don’t care about all gains and losses, and devote all your energy to cognitive upgrades. Let’s leave all the unpleasantness and dissatisfaction this year to the end of the year. Tolerate everything, accept everything calmly, and embrace everything!

The reason why the gap in life achievements is so big is not that an individual human being is physically stronger than others, but that he has borrowed ten times, a hundred times or even a thousand times. It’s just potential energy. It’s potential energy that makes human beings successful. Individual human beings are just the “trendsetters” of that era, standing on the cusp of the storm and the “carrier” of that achievement; just like every human soul needs a physical shell as a “carrier” "Same. The achievements of every era require several human individuals as "carriers" to enjoy this honor. Regarding the importance of potential energy, I wrote in Without potential energy, we will accomplish nothing has been discussed in detail in this article. I suggest you read it again.

Times create heroes, and heroes take advantage of them!

Therefore, people's achievements are not their own, but the times; those who enjoy this achievement are just borrowing this honor and benefits. If others can do it, so can you.

Haier founder Zhang Ruimin often said: There are no successful companies, only companies of the times! In fact, this is the truth.

So I suggest that PA friends,

Use all your wisdom to explore the next "big wave",

And get ready to surf.

2. Choice and bravery

If you enter a virtuous cycle of cognition, then I can be sure that after one year, your cognitive level will be greatly improved. At that time, you need to re-examine your life and plan your future life based on your new understanding.

We will encounter all kinds of choices in our lives, ranging from what to eat for breakfast, what to wear when going out, to what to apply for the college entrance examination, whether to study abroad, Who to marry, when to have children, what career to choose, whether to start a business, etc.

Life is the superposition of countless choices. If you had chosen to enter the real estate industry in 2000 and persisted to this day, I believe you would have made a lot of wealth; if you had chosen to join the little-known Alibaba in 1999 and persisted to this day, I believe You must already be a famous person on the Internet; if you started working hard to save money to buy a house in 2000, I believe you must have become a super landlord; if you bought Tencent’s new shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004 and hold them to this day. Sell, then you must be the stock god of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; if you bought a large amount of Bitcoin when it was less than one dollar and haven’t sold it until today, then you are the richest man in Bitcoin (Li Xiaolai)...

Only by choosing the right direction can you take advantage of the momentum. Direction is more important than hard work.

Looking back, everyone is Zhuge Liang; looking forward, What most people see are not opportunities , but fear.

After tens of thousands of years of evolution, we have retained the "risk aversion" instinct for the reproduction of the species, so many people see the trend but do not act, mainly because there is not enough brave. Because all choices correspond to risks and opportunity costs.

Even if it is now recognized as "the safest investment method in the past fifteen years - real estate speculation", fifteen years ago, not everyone had the courage to do so. Invest in property at all costs. Most of us just gritted our teeth and took out a loan to buy a home for our own living purposes, and accidentally became the beneficiaries. The income from the appreciation of house prices exceeded the surplus from working and earning over the years. I believe that the salary and bonus surplus saved by most working-class people in the past 15 years does not exceed 5 million in cash, but most of their houses far exceed this amount. It’s not that we didn’t think about it, it’s that we didn’t think about it at all. In the final analysis, this is still a problem of cognitive models. Our family education and social environment since childhood did not establish a correct concept of “financial management” for us, nor did we have a good understanding of macroeconomics and national events. I don't really care, I just muddle along and just focus on the present. So I missed almost the only opportunity in history to You can double your wealth tenfold without using your brain.

This cannot be blamed on us. Family education and social environment have shaped our early cognitive models. We did not realize the historical significance of this wave of potential energy, and we missed it so gorgeously. .

If we miss out on real estate, what other options do we have?

The biggest choice left to young people today is definitely not the "iron rice bowl", because history has proven that there is no "iron rice bowl" at all. It should be “join the entrepreneurial wave.” Choose the right direction and the right leader (or be the leader yourself).

Choose the right direction or follow the right boss!

What is entrepreneurship? Broadly understood, as long as your future income is not determined by the calculable "salary + bonus" where it is easy to see the ceiling; but by the non-calculable , with no ceiling in sight and risks and opportunities coexisting, determined by "shares or options.

This is called entrepreneurship.

Whether it is in the United States, China, Southeast Asia or Africa, future wealth leaders will continue to emerge, but the era of working emperors is gone forever. Wealth leaders must come from those who "choose the right direction or follow the right boss" in the new economy.

Choice is important, and a good choice has two key elements:

1) Cognitive level; 2) Be brave.

Not being brave enough is the main reason why many "highly educated people work for lowly educated people" in this era . At a certain level of cognition, everyone can see similar "potential energy", and our judgments on direction will be roughly the same. But why are our achievement differences still so huge? Because we not only see trends, but also risks. What if it fails?

The fear and disgust of this "what if" makes 99% of people choose "the next best thing".

Essentially, there are two types of bravery, one is a blind newborn calf that is not afraid of tigers; the other is "boldness that starts with subtlety." Therefore, I am not advocating blind betting. I still hope that everyone can improve their cognitive level and professional ability through continuous and deliberate practice. Based on your professionalism and precision, you can make more accurate judgments about the future, and then invest your money or time (life). This is how to do it:

Others laugh at me for being crazy, but I laugh at others because they can’t see through it.

Because you firmly believe that the earth is round, you are willing to use your life to prove it; in the eyes of others, this is a risk, and you will never return;And you know deep down that this is just a trip around the world.

Of course, if you follow the right leader, whose cognitive level is far higher than most people in this era, you can indeed "follow him bravely and blindly"; This kind of "choice" is always much better than your "judgment with two swords", and this method is more suitable for most people. After all, truly far-sighted people are rare in every era. Those who have firmly followed Ren Zhengfei and Ma Huateng from the beginning have achieved financial freedom.

Dear friends of PA,

Good choices require a high level of cognition,

Brave action is also required!

3. Patience and perseverance

After improving your awareness and making a brave choice, you must be ready to "be a friend of time" and enjoy the rewards of compound interest. Einstein said: Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world!

Tencent is the company with the highest market value in China today. At the beginning of its business, it was so small that no one was optimistic about it. Even in its tenth year of business, the company's performance is just that of an ordinary Internet company. Its real rise may have started with two things around 2011:

-3Q War-WeChat release

The 3Q battle with Qihoo 360 forced Tencent from a closed platform to an open ecosystem, unleashing ten times its potential. I have to thank 360 for this, but more importantly, Ma Huateng’s iteration of self-awareness. He knows how to reflect and absorb nutritious energy from the environment.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The release of WeChat has allowed Tencent to get rid of the positioning bias of "low-age and low-end people" in the eyes of investors and enter the high-income and high-end groups. User value has pushed up corporate value. The reason why WeChat can blossom and bear fruit in Tencent is also due to Ma Huateng's love for talents (in 2005, he acquired Foxmail for Zhang Xiaolong and established the Tencent Research Institute for Zhang Xiaolong), as well as the internal horse racing mechanism. The same direction allows different Teams work simultaneously and compete internally.

I believe that almost no one could have predicted Tencent today in 1998. Even the South African MIH, which made HK$700 billion on Tencent stock, was not based on accurate predictions. Investments made based on predictions. What Tencent is today is the result of step-by-step iteration and evolution. During this period, Tencent's senior executives also came and went in waves. Those senior executives who joined Tencent early and voluntarily left Tencent before 2011 must not have expected it. Such a rapid trend after Tencent and such a stock price trend are almost the dark horse that all investors dream of. Tencent, which was listed in 2004, has brought a 250-fold return to secondary market investors within 12 years. How many people have started (hold) from scratch? To the end? Of course, Tencent is at its peak today, and its stock price is high but still strong. I can’t predict what will happen in the future.

This not only tests your courage, but also your patience and perseverance!

If we must join a start-up company to achieve great achievements (including wealth accumulation) in fifteen years, then we must be prepared for the long-distance race, and the more we It is a great undertaking, and the longer it takes, the more time it takes to prepare.

If you don’t have enough patience and perseverance, then cognitive level and courage will only bring you endless of pain and regret. Just like Wayne, the earliest co-founder of Apple, sold 10% of his shares to Steve Jobs for 800 US dollars, and then today he is living on relief funds, and that part of the shares is worth more than 500 US dollars today. billion dollars. We appreciate Apple and envy Apple, but we don’t feel the regret in his heart, the feeling that “There was once a true love in front of me. , but I don’t have the pain to cherish...

In other words, if you are not aware of the key significance of patience and perseverance in achieving a great cause, then your cognitive model must not have entered a positive cycle. The cognitive model is a decision-making algorithm, and the decision-making algorithm is a guide for action. Action requires courage to initiate, and patience and perseverance to persist.

Otherwise, you won’t see the sun the day after tomorrow.

I hope all PA friends can

Don’t forget your original intention and start well and finish well.

4. Negentropy and vitality

The first law of thermodynamics talks about "conservation of energy", and we all know this.

The second law of thermodynamics talks about the "law of entropy increase", but many people don't understand it.

The explanation on Baidu's entry is very comprehensive. If you are interested, you can check it out. In order not to affect reading, I will give a simple explanation, The word "entropy" here represents "degree of chaos". The literal meaning of the law of entropy increase is (in the absence of external energy input, the degree of chaos of a system only increases but does not decrease). , this law comes from Rudolph Clausius, who discovered:

When there is no external intervention, the temperature always goes from high to low; it is impossible to go from low to high. This shows that in the natural process, an isolated system The total chaos (i.e. "entropy") of will not decrease.

To give a simple example, if a drop of ink is dropped into a glass of water, the ink will soon be evenly distributed in the entire glass of water, and then move toward equilibrium (entropic death). This process is the process of increasing "chaos (entropy)"; if there is no external interference, the ink scattered in this glass of water will not automatically gather in one place (the degree of chaos decreases). It is said that the second law of thermodynamics is the only one among all physical laws that is irreversible in time. That is, when the arrow of time moves backwards, the law becomes invalid. The water that was thrown out will not come back by itself; the chaotic house will not become orderly by itself; the broken mirror will not be put back together by itself.

There was an article some time ago "Document No. 3 of 2017 issued by Ren Zhengfei: Huawei's Entropy - How to Use Money to Transform Greed into Motivation" which is worth searching for and reading. This is how Huawei management combines the law of entropy increase.

Human beings are biological organizations in the universe. If people do not breathe, eat, and drink water, the human body will not be able to maintain life (order) and will move towards chaos (entropy). increase), heading towards death. If you don't contribute energy (nutrients) to your brain, you will become dumber and stupider, which is also a manifestation of entropy increase. The energy (nutrition) here includes two things, one is physical energy, three meals a day; the other is spiritual nutrition, external information, reading or social interaction. These energy and nutrients continue to shape our brain structure, making our 100 billion brain neurons more orderly (entropy decreases). The increasingly orderly brain neuron structure means that our cognitive level is constantly improving. . We must all pursue negative entropic growth.

Negentropy means vitality! The speed at which negative entropy increases also means the intensity of vitality.

An enterprise is also an organization and a system, and this system will also follow the law of entropy increase. In other words, without the intervention of external forces (energy, information, funds), etc., enterprises will become increasingly chaotic and disorderly (entropy increases). Only by introducing external forces can the enterprise system maintain a certain order and develop towards negative entropy. Such an enterprise will have vitality, and this viable enterprise structure is a "dissipative structure."

The dissipative structure is an open system far from equilibrium (entropy death). Through constant exchange of matter and energy with the outside world, negative energy is generated in the dissipation process. The entropy flow changes from the original disordered state to an ordered state. This new ordered structure is a dissipative structure.

On the other hand, if a company or country closes itself off and works behind closed doors, it will become increasingly chaotic and disorderly. If you want to develop, you must be open to cooperation and exchange energy with the outside world. The entry and exit of energy and matter forms a dissipative system and becomes an open organization in the big ecology. The value of this organization is related to its relationship with other people in the big ecology. The amount and frequency of energy and matter exchanged by tissues are positively related.

If an organ of the human body constantly exchanges energy (blood, etc.) with other organs in the human body, then this organ must be useful and alive; if an organ is There is no energy exchange with other organs in the body, which means that this organ is useless and will be eliminated by human evolution.

A closed enterprise will be ignored or eliminated by the entire ecosystem. A closed individual will also be ignored or eliminated by the human collective.

Whether we are human beings or corporate organizations, we must have a positive "energy" exchange with the world. Absorbing energy from the outside world can make us More organized, smarter, more energetic, you can also find your own < within the ecosystem. strong>Value (positioning) to ensure that it is not eliminated (ignored) by the ecology.

In the process of investment, I found that people are the biggest variable. With the development of enterprises and changes in the environment, entrepreneurs are changing and plastic, and the direction of change depends on awareness of oneself as well as the environment and opportunities. Therefore, I pay more attention to the Progress Acceleration of the entrepreneurial team, or the speed of energy exchange with the outside world, the speed of negative entropy growth, This means the vitality of the team.

I hope that our PA friends can actively and consciously push themselves into a virtuous cycle of "rapid increase in negative entropy". This virtuous cycle includes your inner Have a positive and open attitude and the external environment (friends around you, the organizational culture and system you work for, social atmosphere, etc.), and then actively exchange energy with the outside world, read (absorb energy), think (information processing), practice ( Output energy), make your life full of vitality, and enjoy the pleasant experience brought by every "negative entropy". Day after day, we accumulate more and more achievements, pushing ourselves to a "negative entropy" climax at the end of each year, enjoying the broader vision and scenery brought by the new height of life.

You must know that The increase in cognitive level and negative entropy has a network incremental effect , is a typical exponential growth curve. Like a snowball rolling on the top of a mountain, it may be small and slow at first, but the accumulated energy and rolling speed will gradually become faster and faster, and finally cause the snow mountain to collapse, pushing you to the pinnacle of life.

Dear friends of PA,

Think about Tencent’s stock price chart,

Look at the picture below again,

Where are you now on the curve?

5. Pain and Evolution

Some time ago, I published an article in The only meaning of life is pleasure? Is this the goal of artificial intelligence? A concept mentioned in it is whether robots (artificial intelligence) need to have emotions such as pain and terror:

...When you see a ferocious beast, your whole body will tremble and you want to run away. Fear fills your brain and you lose rational thinking. Being taken over by the amygdala in the back of the head, in order to stay alive. But at this time, is your "fear" really necessary? As a robot with the highest level of artificial intelligence, when this robot encounters its enemy, does it need to feel fear? We make this robot smart enough to handle any sudden crisis. We can predict various crisis management decision-making algorithms. However, there is no need to introduce "fear" in the design of this algorithm. As long as the program is mobilized objectively and calmly, it is determined based on environmental parameters. Whether you should run or fight, just execute the program directly. It can be very calm and the feeling of terror is unnecessary. If humans didn't have a sense of fear, many things might be handled more reasonably...

When the sweeper is almost out of power, it can automatically return to its seat to recharge. It does not need to feel "hungry"; if you attack it with a weapon, it will also dodge (the purpose is to avoid hurt you), but it doesn't feel "fearful".

Many scientists believe that emotions such as "fear" are by-products of "consciousness" and that the survival of intelligent creatures does not necessarily require "emotions". The artificial intelligence we are developing is likely to produce a kind of self-awareness that is different from humans in the future, a kind of consciousness without "emotions".

Most of the robot characters we see in science fiction movies are highly intelligent beings with no "emotions", extreme rationality and even coldness. But a "machine" without emotions will never feel like a "life", but you can't deny that its intelligence far exceeds that of humans in some dimensions.

For example, today's AlphaGo (or the ID: Master who defeated all human Go masters on the Yicheng Go website) has surpassed humans in the field of Go.

If intelligent life does not need "emotions" to survive, then why do we humans retain various emotions such as sweetness, sweetness, bitterness, and pain during the evolution process? Is it really not necessary?

There is no answer to this question. At present, human scientists have not been able to understand the nature of human consciousness. Therefore, the relationship between "emotion" and intelligent life can only be a philosophical discussion. .

Since this is a philosophical discussion, I can also share my views:

I think there are many differences between humans and the animal kingdom. Language, imagination, self-awareness, learning abilities, etc. are far beyond those of other species. Among them, strong learning ability is also considered to be a common ability of intelligent creatures. For example, the artificial intelligence we are talking about today is inseparable from Machine learning and deep learning Such ability. At the beginning of the birth of intelligent life, it is a blank piece of paper, but it can master language and acquire cognition through learning, and then develop a deeper self-awareness. The imagination is also improved and progressed through continuous learning.

Learning ability is the basis of other human abilities. A newborn baby without any acquired learning will not be able to master language, nor will it be possible to improve its cognition. Imagine The richness of power, let alone thinking and expression at the level of self-awareness.

Human progress benefits from learning, and learning progress benefits from memory. If there is no memory, how can we talk about learning? And "pain" is an instinct evolved by animals to "deepen memory." The more pain, the deeper the memory. If you remember it deeply, you will not fall in the same place twice; you will not make the same mistake again; you will not make stupid mistakes that lead to the extinction of species!

Once bitten by a snake, you will be afraid of straw ropes for ten years. This sentence accurately expresses that in the process of human evolution, through "pain", we remember the danger of "snake", so that we can initiate escape and emergency measures the next time we see a snake.

Many animals have emotions just like humans, and also have certain learning abilities and imagination. They even have simple language systems and superficial self-awareness. So the emotions of animals and humans outweigh the emotions of humans and machines. Animals will also mark their enemies through painful experiences. The next time the scene reappears, they can escape in advance or take emergency measures.

So, I personally feel that emotional perception such as sweetness, sweetness, bitterness, pain, etc. is meaningful to the evolution of human animals, all for the purpose of "deepening episodic memory" so that it can be recalled through external stimulation in the future. When remembering this moment, activate this emotion at the same time. This contributes to our progress and the evolution of the species.

No pain, no gain! No pain, no gain.

Everyone should have learned this sentence. Today we will re-examine the philosophical meaning behind this English proverb: Pain is to allow us to instinctively deepen our memory. Every pain They are all cognitive iterations (upgrades), and they have left a deep imprint on our neurons and cellular levels, preventing us from making the same mistakes in the future and allowing us to make progress.

Heaven is about to entrust this man with a great responsibility. He must first strain his mind, strain his muscles and bones, starve his body and skin, deplete his body, and mess up his movements. What you do is to move your heart and forbearance to gain what you can't do...

The philosophy behind this passage in "Mencius" is to profoundly reflect the practical significance of human emotions "sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and painful" for us to achieve great things. If you don’t want to waste this life, and you want to continuously improve your knowledge, make progress, and finally make some achievements in your limited and only life journey, then you must accept the severe test that comes with it. It's not easy to be a tide boy. You have to fall into the sea countless times; you may also be beaten to death in the whirlpool.

The bigger the wave, the more dangerous it is.

Great achievements and great leaders must endure tremendous trials and torture. All achievements come at a price We cannot just expect to enjoy achievements without accepting any form of pain (including being ignored , ignored, beaten, suppressed, excluded...), achievement and pain are almost twin brothers, always appearing together.

I recommend that everyone read "The Biography of Tencent" just written by Wu Xiaobo. Combined with the Tencent stock price chart above, we can see that Tencent can become a company today. The number one market value in China (the second place is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) was not planned by Ma Huateng himself, but quietly evolved in the face of adversity.

Tencent was very poor in its early days. Because the number of users grew too fast, server and bandwidth resources were consumed too much. It borrowed money and raised money everywhere, but no one understood it. Therefore, Tencent's evolution is an iteration of "if you are poor, think about changes". Countless attempts and imitations are just to find new profit growth points, otherwise you will die. The 3Q battle that caused Ma Huateng the most pain, suffering and injury turned out to be a turning point for Tencent to reach the peak of its market value.

From monopoly to dissipative structure of open ecology, Only in this way can we achieve a great evergreen foundation!
Everything seems destined, but it is accidental; Everything seems accidental, but it seems destined.

Wonderful and wonderful, mysterious and mysterious.

Starting from 2017, I will practice my new understanding, which is I think the heavy position is reliable Good business and good team, and I also suggest that PA friends can "dedicate all your life to your dreams."

The "dream" here refers to your most important choice (direction or leadership). If you haven’t thought about it yet, please continue to iterate your cognition, continue to exchange energy with this environment, form negative entropic growth, brave trial and error, and appropriate persistence, until you find the "dream" that you are willing to sacrifice your whole life for, then All in (bet all your wealth), and be ready to welcome the times to you in the future. All trials (pains).

What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. The best evidence for this statement is the Jewish people and the State of Israel. If they had not been tortured for thousands of years, there would not be the Jewish elites all over the world today. The rise of this nation is worth learning from all our entrepreneurs. Species and nations that die in pain will eventually be forgotten by history.

Dear friends of PA,

Don't die in pain, rise in pain.

The more pain, the more progress!


Finally, thank you for choosing to invest in PA, or choosing to join a startup company in the PA department. I hope you will gain a meaningful life as a result, no matter how painful the road ahead is. , no matter how hard it is, I will walk with you.

Iterate and evolve together!

In 2017, here I come.
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