UP can be difficult to understand. It varies based on how you approach life. Here are a few analogies that may help.

You = Superhero

Imagine you’re a superhero (e.g., Batman). To become Batman you must have relentless drive, excellent strategy, detailed plans, ample resources, and be in peak physical condition. You’re completely devoted to your cause. UP is your Alfred or Robin.

You = Olympic Athlete

Imagine you’re an Olympic athlete, aiming for multiple gold medals. You are intense, disciplined, obsessed with metrics, dedicated to iterative growth, and in peak physical condition. You’re laser-focused on winning. UP is your coach or training partner. 

You = Elite Researcher

Imagine you’re a Bell Labs researcher investigating whatever you think is most promising. You optimize your life for deep thought, strategic collaboration, and years of toil (and potential ridicule). You are fully committed to your research. UP is your colleague or research assistant. 


Imagine you’re a player in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. You can level up your skills, secure better equipment, team up with others, and engage in quests to achieve specific goals. Your experience is whatever you make of it. UP is your guild. 

You = Startup

Imagine you’re the founder of a fast-growing Y Combinator startup. You are intense, take calculated risks, love metrics, and want to build something to impact the world. You aggressively innovate to make it big, quickly. UP is your co-founder or adviser.

You = Organization

Imagine you’re the leader of a corporation, lab, military or government. You strategize, plan, recruit, manage people, execute, and evaluate results. You deploy substantial resources to create and capture large amounts of value. UP is your Chief of Staff or Board of Directors.

You = Commander

Imagine you’re the commander of an elite special forces unit. You train intensively, progressively develop formidable skills and abilities, forge deep bonds with your unit, and give each operation your all. You put the mission ahead of yourself. UP is your squad or section.

You = Robot

Imagine you’re a robot. You have a CPU (executive functioning), hard drive (long-term memory), RAM (working memory), electricity (blood), chassis (skeleton), and software (beliefs). Every part of you is upgradable. UP is your robotic scientist or programmer.