First Principles

This tool will let you break down a problem into is smallest units and build a solution focusing on those units. We generally understand by analogy - we connect the new information to something we already know. That's easier and quicker - but not as accurate as getting to the first principles. Some ways to do this...

  • Start with questioning existing beliefs and conventions.
  • Deconstruct and reconstruct. Break the problem into basic elements.
  • All first Principles is atomic. It can't be deduced from other propositions or assumptions.
  • Once you have all first principles related to the problem, you can build a solution using those. This will remove the biases, assumptions and existing conventions.
  • We generally rely on past assumptions because its quick and easy. But it will give us unimaginative and pre-existing solutions.
  • Analogy is quick - but reasoning thru first principles is more creative.

Processes to get to first principles...

Analogies are useful in situations where you can predict what can happen. In novel situations, first principles are a better tool.