Episode 36: Productivity, happiness and how we might value the things we do, with founder of Rad Reads, Khe Hy


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Productivity is one of those areas that has exploded into a major industry over the past couple of decades.
The concept of productivity is something that started out, really, in the 18th and 19th centuries from an industrial capitalist imperative to “produce” as much as possible from the resources available. Out of the American baby boom generation which came of age in the corporate landscape of the 1970s and ‘80s came two major milestones in the history of personal productivity that have influenced the way so many of us do so many things: firstly, the book Getting Things Done by David Allen was published in 2001, which was described by Wired magazine as “a new cult for the info age” and the Guardian as ideas that are nothing short of life-changing", and secondly, and more broadly, the rise of the Internet as an almost free tool available to almost everybody, and which with its array of social networks and apps, many of them driven by the technology companies of California’s Silicon Valley, has transformed the way we do everything.

The guest on this episode is Khe Hy, the founder of Rad Reads, a collection of essays and blogs and workbooks and techniques which takes a wise, perhaps even spiritual, approach to productivity.
Khe has built Rad Reads after what he calls his “third of a life crisis”, when he quit Wall Street after 14 years working in the financial world.
Among the things we talk about are:

  • The life lessons he learned from his career in high finance
  • How productivity might fit into happiness
  • How he thinks about the concepts of doing and being
  • Tools that help us get things done, and what we might need to do first
  • Khe's powerful “$10,000 per hour” framework, which allows us to consider the value of the things we do in the context of two simple questions
  • The coronavirus pandemic, and what Khe has learned about himself and his place in the world from the events of the past 12 months.

7:00: "Third of a life crisis" ... "Ambition treadmill to nowhere" ...
11:00: Lessons about money from 14 years on Wall Street
14:00: The power of compounding
16:00: We are our own worst enemies
17:20: Understanding how the system works
21:00: Productivity and happiness
25:30: Doing vs being
36:00: The three key components of productivity
43:30: The place of tools
48:30: The $10,000 per hour framework
54:40: What he's learned about himself from the pandemic year

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