#117 Adam Nash of Daffy: My Favorite Books, Tools, Habits and More | 20 Minute Playbook

In Episode #117, we deconstruct Adam Nash's peak performance playbook—from his favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on his life. Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Daffy. We cover the importance of brutal prioritization, lessons from mentors and books, and being a leader as an engineer.
Last updated
July 18, 2022
5
Min Read
Adam says that people follow his Twitter feed (@adamnash) for gardening updates just as much as for business updates.
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About Adam Nash

Daffy, the Donor-Advised Fund for You | Twitter | LinkedIn

“For many people who come from an engineering background, it can be difficult separating building the product you want to build from actually building the company itself, which is going to build and maintain that product indefinitely.” – Adam Nash

Adam Nash  is the co-founder and CEO of Daffy, which is building a modern platform for giving and in the process rethinking how we all give to the causes and charities we care about. Adam has a long and incredible history as an entrepreneur and builder. He's been a VP at LinkedIn, helping scale the network in its earliest years, entrepreneur in residence at Greylock, the President and CEO of Wealthfront, and an advisor to a long list of incredible companies from Gusto to Bitwise.

In this episode, Adam shares why the hardest part of company building is prioritization and phasing, and how he gets these things right. We talk about why, as a founder, it's important to know everyone's superpower on your team. He shares the lessons he learned by working closely with Clayton Christensen of the Innovator's Dilemma fame. He shares why he's a big believer in interdisciplinary innovation, and that his favorite thing to do on the weekends is gardening and what that's taught him about company building.

For more, explore the transcript of this episode.


Chapters

In this episode, we deconstruct Adam Nash’s peak performance playbook—from his favorite book to the tiny habit that's had the biggest impact on his life. In it we cover:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:03 – The rapid progress in space exploration
  • 00:03:05 – Being a leader as an engineer
  • 00:04:31 – The importance of brutal prioritization
  • 00:07:22 – On Reid Hoffman, building companies, and solving problems
  • 00:08:52 – Why every founder should read The Innovator’s Dilemma
  • 00:11:59 – Your daily top three
  • 00:14:08 – The lessons of delayed gratification and humility in gardening

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Player FM, Podcast Addict, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

An Idea Worth Trying

Adam spends 15 minutes each morning thinking through his top three tasks for the day; if you can narrow down your focus to the three most important items you need to do in a day, you’re more likely to move the right things forward.

Our Favorite Quotes

Here are a few ideas we'll be thinking about weeks and months from now:

  • “I'm fascinated with the rapid progress now happening on artificial intelligence, mainly because of what it says about how much we understand or don't understand about ourselves, what intelligence even means, and even what consciousness is. I think it's an amazing time to be in technology.”
  • “The most exciting thing for me right now is that technology is on the move again. After almost a half a century of stagnation, I'm just thrilled by the rapid progress and space exploration and what it'll mean for humanity to be multi planetary.”
  • “Being brutal about prioritization and focusing on: what's the problem we're trying to solve now? What's the next phase? That's not just venture financing. That actually turns out to be how you run a product roadmap, how you think about building a company.”
  • “One of the first things you learn in computer science is how you frame a problem is more than half of the process of solving that problem. And so how you frame, as a leader, of the problem for your team, not just timing, not just metrics, but how to think about the problem, I think, is amazingly important in how we keep pushing the envelope forward in making better and better products and services for people.”
  • “I spend an hour or two every Sunday in the garden. There's something very peaceful and methodical about investing your time with living things, and over weeks and months being rewarded with a kind of abundance from nature. I think it's a form of delayed gratification and a lesson in humility about what is and isn't under your control.”

Books Mentioned

The following books came up in this conversation with Adam Nash:

Selected Links

We covered a lot of ground in this interview. Here are links to the stories, articles, and ideas discussed:

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