I Learnt How to Kill a Man... On YouTube (#4)

Is there a limit to what we can learn online?

I Learnt How to Kill a Man... On YouTube (#4)

Every Sunday I publish a newsletter featuring the best hacks and insights I discover on my journey as an entrepreneur and investor.

I first learnt Muay Thai in Thailand five years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Wherever I travel, one of the first things I do is search for a local MMA gym. It’s a great way for me to keep fit, have fun, and meet new people.

Training Muay Thai in Thailand in 2016

But when the first lockdown hit in March, I was confined at home. Rather than give up on training, I continued to develop my skills using YouTube videos. And the result was crazy! My coach later noted it as the single greatest improvement in Muay Thai technique he’d seen in such a short period of time.

This got me thinking… if I can learn Muay Thai online, what else can I learn online? And what are the global socioeconomic implications of this trend towards digitalising education? So I read the IMF’s Jobs of Tomorrow Report 2021 and discovered:

  1. In 2025, analytical thinking, creativity, and flexibility will be among the most sought-after skills. Newly emerging skills this year are active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility.
  2. The most competitive businesses will focus on upgrading workers’ skills. For workers set to remain in their roles over the next five years, nearly half will need retraining for their core skills.
  3. Remote work is here to stay. 84% of employers are set to rapidly digitalize work processes, including a significant expansion of remote working. Employers say there is potential to make 44% of their workforce remote.

Two trends are clear to me:

  1. Global access to high-speed internet and education through platforms like Khan Academy and Coursera means billions of people can learn anything online
  2. The digital economy constitutes an ever-increasing portion of global trade. You’re now on the same playing field as Dipali from Delhi, Sofia from São Paulo, and Bao from Beijing

With this in mind, I conclude: learning is no longer a form of intellectual masturbation like it was for the Ancient Greeks. Whoever you are - desk worker or entrepreneur - today, more than ever, learning and re-skilling are critical to our success.

I’ve embraced this. As an Undergrad, I relied on Aswath Damodoran’s Valuation courses and Wharton’s Introduction to Finance. For my Masters, I learnt Python and R with Datacamp and Udemy’s Machine Learning A-Z and Complete Python Bootcamp. Just last month, I learnt Final Cut Pro through Skillshare, Turkish through Verbling, and cooking from FoodWishes and French Cooking Academy… all through digital platforms without leaving my home office.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
– Mahatma Gandhi

I’d love to hear from you

Hit me back - are you gonna use online platforms to embrace the words of Gandhi? Or just to stop Dipali, Sofia and Bao from stealing your job? You can reach me on Twitter or email: anthony@djangodigital.co.uk.

If you’re as excited by online learning as I am, I’d encourage you to begin with California San Diego’s Learning How to Learn on Coursera.

The Book I Read This Week

🧠 How To Take Smart Notes by Sonke Arens. 5/5. This book explains the ‘Zettlekasten’ method developed by Niklas Luhmann, a 20th-century Sociologist who published 70+ books and 400+ articles. The book offers a simple system to help you develop and formulate your ideas. I’d recommend it to anyone who cares about learning for the sake of learning and is intellectually curious. Grab full notes on my website and see how I’ve implemented the Zettlekasten system in Notion👇

My Favourite Podcasts This Week

👨‍🎓 Danny In The Valley interviews Sebastian Thrun, the founder of GoogleX and Udacity. This episode highlights how Covid’s been a watershed moment for online education and how an online class beat Sebastian’s students at Stanford!

🌐 Tyler Cohen interviews Brian Armstrong, the founder of Coinbase. I’d recommend this to anyone looking to develop their understanding of what a decentralised monetary future could look like for the world.

🧑‍🎨 The Futur interviews Cameron Pierron, a graphic designer who’s been remote since 2001. Cameron shares his full playbook on building a personal brand around a skill like graphic design. Inspiring stuff!

My Favourite Articles This Week

💊 A step-by-step guide to making an anti-Covid vaccine at home using ingredients available on Amazon for $1,000. ‘We didn’t need any special licenses… I got a little wetlab experience as an undergrad, but the skills required were pretty minimal.’

🔮 New details on Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset leaked. 8K resolution for each eye, spatial audio, interchangeable headbands, and more. I’ve been obsessed with alternative reality ever since The Matrix, but at $3,000 I’ll be waiting a little longer!

👩‍🎓 Would you rather go to Oxford University for 3 years but not graduate, or go on holiday for 3 years and be given a perfectly forged Oxford degree? My friend Sheerwan answers this for you - 80% of the value in a degree is in signalling!

Tools I Discovered This Week

🖕 I Don’t Care About Cookies is a Chrome Extension that makes those annoying cookie popups disappear. In my view, the cookie permission popup is the right step towards more privacy wrongly executed.

🤫 Krisp is a single button that removes all background noises for incoming and outgoing calls. It’s perfect for anyone worried about background noise - professionals for conference calls, teachers for their students, podcasters for their audience.

Nomad News This Week

💀 Salesforce declares the 9-to-5 workday dead in a move that makes 50,000 employees remote. Clearly, they’ve recognised the employee experience is about more than just ping-pong tables and popcorn!

🇧🇶 The Financial Times discuss how Caribbean islands like Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua are luring Digital Nomads with one-year remote-working visas.

🚋 Airstream launched a new $100K trailer which can house 6 people and has a dedicated mobile office built-in.

🐦 Excerpts From The Twitterverse

Thank you so much for reading this article. If you enjoyed it, be sure to share it with your friends and spread the word.

I want to be able to deliver the best content I can to all of you. To that end, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s working, what isn’t, and what you’d like more of. You can reach me on Twitter or email: anthony@djangodigital.co.uk.