Hi, I’m David Perell.
Welcome to my online home. I write, host a podcast, and run a writing school called Write of Passage.
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Most of my essays are about business, education, and what it means to be a citizen of the Internet. These essays are a record of my intellectual quest to make sense of the world. They’re the diary of my contemplative life.
Annual Review 2022
This year was an emotional odyssey. At times, it was tormenting, at others intoxicating. Here, I share my joys and struggles, my dreams and regrets. 2022 completely changed my life.
Practice Analytically, Perform Intuitively
There’s a famous saying in golf: “Drive for show, putt for dough.”
How Learning Happens
From music, we learn what humanity has always known but schools have forgotten: learning begins with inspiration.
Peter Thiel’s Religion
Human culture was fueled by rage and rivalry, which led to violence. Managing that violence is the secret reason for all religious and political institutions.
The North Star Podcast is a wide-ranging series of interviews with writers, athletes, and entrepreneurs. Each episode is insight-dense and packed with surprising twists and turns that illuminate the guest’s worldview.
Rob Henderson: An Internet Academic
Rob Henderson is one of my favorite up-and-coming writers. I like him because he’s one of those people who doesn’t fit into a category. He’s a Ph.D. candidate in psychology, but I met him in a book club about technological stagnation. He’s spent years in the academy, first at Yale and now at Cambridge, but most of his influence comes from his online writing.
Rabbi David Wolpe: Jewish Wisdom
Newsweek Magazine once called Rabbi Wolpe the most influential rabbi in America. He is the Senior Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and he’s the author of eight books including one about King David and another gem called Why Be Jewish? I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed preparing for an interview so much. I’m named after King David, but until this interview, I hadn’t explored the history of my name in more than a decade.
Claire Lehmann: Building an Internet Media Company
My guest today is Claire Lehmann, the founder and editor-in-chief of Quillette, a for-profit online magazine that publishes essays on topics like politics, science, and academia. We started our conversation talking about Quilette’s business model and the niche it occupies on the Internet. Then, we moved on to societal topics like the longevity of bureaucracies, the pros and cons of standardized tests, and what Claire would change about childhood education.
Seth Godin: Writing Every Day
My guest today is Seth Godin, the author of nineteen international bestsellers that have been translated into more than 35 languages. My all-time favorite is Purple Cow, which I discovered in college and became my nickname. This is my second interview with Seth, who has published an article every day now for more than a decade. If you want to be a prolific creator, Seth is one of the best teachers you can possibly find.
My notebook is where I develop my ideas in public. If my essays are finished paintings, these are my intellectual sketches. They’re a low-stakes place where I share ideas that are longer than a tweet, but too immature for a full-on essay.
A Divine Intuition
Under a secular mindset, intuition is all about you — your wants, needs, passions, and desires. A heavenly, God-inspired intuition is different.
The Paradox of Abundance
Information abundance, like all markets of abundance, is bad for the average person but great for a small number of people.
I have a confession to make: I leave most parties early because I’d rather read a book.
Should You Write Every Day?
When I started working out, I hated it. I wanted to gain muscle but dreaded working out. Eventually, a friend got fed up with my laziness and told me what I needed to hear: “If you want to build the habit, go to the gym every single day without fail.”