Utilize first principles thinking

When Elon Musk was shopping for rockets, he was shocked—they were way too expensive, even for his budget. But then he had an epiphany: Maybe he could build his own.

Sure enough, he discovered that buying the raw materials and building the rockets from scratch would cost about 2% of the price of a typical rocket. This is a great example of first principles thinking, which requires you to hack through existing assumptions and common practices until you’re left with just the fundamentals.

Musk asked himself, “What is actually required to launch a rocket?” and moved forward from there.

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