Principle Theme

Strategically apply your time, talent, and passion to a target where there is a market opportunity that aligns with your unique persona to create a compelling and sustainable value proposition.

The key question of the Target principle is one that will last a lifetime:

How do you create unique value and remain relevant throughout your career?

This will dictate where we spend our limited time, talent, and treasure.

This question must be probed throughout life to remain relevant in a rapidly changing environment.

Billions of people are competing in the talent market.

Your life will be dictated by how you play and the product you have to offer.

In the world of product strategy, product-market fit describes the moment when a startup finally finds a widespread set of customers that resonate with its product (The Lean Startup by Eric Ries).

You are the most important product of your life.

By applying time-tested business and product strategies, you can actively manage career fit throughout your life.

This can increase the likelihood of the outcomes you seek such as autonomy, direction, purpose, achievement, financial rewards, unique experiences, and fulfillment.

The answer to where to spend your time and why will not come easy – you will need to do the work.

The “target” is the optimal place in the market where you have something unique that customers love. Your love for this place is what compels you to continually master your craft and evolve it to remain relevant. One of the objectives of this principle is to help you find that place.

This relates to a concept Naval Ravikant calls “productize yourself“.

“Productize” and “yourself”. “Yourself has uniqueness. “Productize” has leverage. “Yourself” has accountability. “Productize” has specific-knowledge. “Yourself” also has specific knowledge in there. So all of these pieces, you can combine them into these two words. If you’re looking towards the long-term goal of getting wealthy, you should ask yourself, “Is this authentic to me? Is it myself that I am projecting?” And then, “Am I productizing it? Am I scaling it? Am I scaling with labor or with capital or with code or media?” – Source: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson (Get the full book electronically for free).

Principle Outcomes

By internalizing and practicing the concepts of this principle, you will increase the ability to:

  • Free yourself from being everything to everybody or undifferentiated in a crowded field.
  • Experience the peace and tranquility of a unique career path that is within your control.
  • Work on problems and causes that have meaning.
  • Remain relevant in a highly competitive talent pool and dynamic external environment.
  • Increase your wealth by offering something that is unique and scarce.

Mental Models