William Liao

January 12, 2022

mental models for maximum impact

In his short 2-year tenure as the United States’ first-ever Chief Data Scientist, DJ Patil generated an impressive list of accomplishments, including establishing nearly 40 Chief Data Officer roles across several government departments and programs, and launching the Data-Driven Justice Initiative, Precision Medicine Initiative, and Cancer Moonshot program. 

To help guide and maximize the impact of his daily efforts, Patil regularly referenced a note he wrote for himself that says the following:

Dream in years, plan in months, evaluate in weeks, ship daily

Prototype for 1x, build for 10x, engineer for 100x

What’s required to cut the timeline in 1/2?

What needs to be done to double the impact?

A hand-written note that D.J. Patil kept in his notebook to regularly reference

With so many things that you could do to tackle a problem, mental models can be invaluable when it comes to quickly identifying the most important actions for you to focus on each day — actions that will allow you, in the grand scheme, to maximize your impact. 

A bias towards action is great. 

This bias coupled with a clear framework for what actions to take is even better.