UP is designed around a number of principles. Many overlap so consider this a casual taxonomy.
We’re a social enterprise that puts purpose before profits. Ethics matter to us. We only work with clients who intend to do at least some good for the world.
It’s your life, not anyone else’s. NDAs, restricted file access, and de-identifying data are among a few of the many precautions we take to ensure your privacy.
We freely admit that we don’t fully know how to upgrade you. No one does. We expect to be wrong and fail often and that’s perfectly okay. Self-compassion is key.
We start with a change hypothesis and rapidly design and test an intervention. We then improve the intervention and retest until something works.
We’re always improving–we will never be done. We regularly incorporate the latest peer-reviewed research, DIY experiments, and macrotrends into our work.
We recognize that human beings are complex adaptive systems made up of many interacting factors. Adjusting one part may not reliably cause a change in another part.
We measure just about everything meaningful to you and track your progress over time. No more guessing whether a program, tool or course worked or not.
Each UP is a new experimental intervention. We make testable predictions, take baseline and follow-up measurements, and confirm or disconfirm our hypotheses.
UP focuses on object-level immediate impact (e.g. fitness, finances, relationships) and meta-level secondary effects (e.g. strategy, agency, focus).
UP is entirely customized based on your values, goals, personality, and unique circumstances. No two UPs are exactly alike. You’re not generic and neither is UP.
We co-create an UP with a client. It’s a collaboration from beginning to end. We’re always deeply honored to be a part of someone’s life through an UP.
We consider “you” to be a synthesis of your biological substrate (your body and mind) and non-biological substrate (e.g. computer, phone, clothes, brand, etc.).
We aim to develop a full taxonomy of your life and help you upgrade every area you choose. We’ve identified 40+ areas you could improve.
We consider “you” to be a composite of your past, present, and future selves. We design for game theoretically satisfying outcomes for all versions of you.
You are not just “you”. You’re composed of many psychological subagents, with varying levels of cooperation. We design for all of your subagents.
We build a digital exocortex (external brain) that collects your team’s shared wisdom on who you are and how to get you what you want. This may live on forever, if you wish.
Essentially no one does this, but it’s best to focus on what matters most first. Then you can start tackling everything else. Simple to understand, but hard to do.
Return on Investment
UP is theoretically the best investment you can make. We calculate your expected ROI before beginning and proceed iff UP is at least plausibly the best you can imagine.
Two brains are better than one. Five are better than two. The more computational power you have, the more strategic your decisions will likely be.
The world is more grayscale than black or white. Learning how to think in probabilities (X is Y% likely to happen) lets you navigate reality far more effectively.
We build a quantitative model to intelligently allocate your resources to acquire what you value most. You can’t easily do this in your head, unaided.
At some point the marginal cost of an action you take will often exceed the marginal benefit. We help you think on the margin so you make smarter trade-off decisions.
We build an internal prediction market where your team predicts your life outcomes. This helps everyone get better at achieving your goals.
Life a series of bets. Generally speaking, if you bet on lottery tickets, you’ll lose. If you bet on low-cost index funds, you’ll win. This thinking is foundational to UP.
Wherever possible, we default to the scientific literature on what works in changing lives and what doesn’t. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are gold.
Many self-development practitioners ignore counterfactuals. With UP, we’re only happy if you succeed in such a way that you otherwise would not have without our help.
We’re obsessed with plans. Yes they often fail. But no that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them. You should just do them better. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
We have one of the largest databases of technologies for growth in the world. If there’s a way to use a technology to advance your goals, we do that first.
UP is designed to help you achieve great things for yourself and the world. We want you to leave a legacy your descendants would be proud of.
You’re a function of your environment. Your home, workplace, vehicle, city, social dynamics, etc. all profoundly influence you. Optimize them to upgrade yourself.
We work to enhance the percentage of your discretionary resources that you allocate on a day-to-day basis toward achieving your values. We call this life congruence.
UP is framed around your entire life. We help you strategically allocate your 700,000 hours and millions in lifetime earnings and other assets into what you value most.
We may pay you to achieve your goals…or your enemies if you don’t. We may donate to a charity you love if you make progress. It all depends on what actually motivates you.
Every great entrepreneur, investor, scientist, engineer, celebrity, and athlete had a team. You deserve a team 100% dedicated to your goals. Don’t go at life alone.
We hold each other to the highest standards of integrity. If we say we’re going to do something, we do it (or update everyone involved otherwise). No lies, no deception.
Four hands are better than two. Ten are better than four. Raw hours, intelligently distributed to the right tasks at the right time in the right way is like magic.
Some people are better at X than Y. Generally speaking, distribute your workload so that people better at X do X and not Y. Collectively, you all win.
Normally people set goals, halfheartedly pursue them, and then forget about them. With UP, you either (1) succeed or (2) pick better goals. We don’t let you forget.
Within reason, we aim to move extremely fast. Speed means more experiments, more learnings, and more success. We systematically eliminate all bottlenecks.
You can only learn so much on your own. With a team you have more brainpower scanning the world to new ways to help you achieve your goals.
Everyone learns differently. We determine how you best learn (and remember) and then customize our lessons directly for you. No friction, no waste.
We use chunking, spaced repetition, rapid testing, and other accelerated learning techniques to quickly cram decades of insights into your head.