The Microwave Economy: Prioritizing the Right Projects for Growth and Meaningful Living


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 04, 2023

4 min read


The Microwave Economy: Prioritizing the Right Projects for Growth and Meaningful Living


In today's fast-paced world, it is crucial for businesses to prioritize the right projects that can lead to sustainable growth. Jeff Chang, in his article "Intro to growth engineering - learn how to prioritize the right projects," emphasizes the importance of diversifying growth opportunities and measuring metrics accurately. On the other hand, David Perell's article, "The Microwave Economy," sheds light on the consequences of prioritizing function over form and undervaluing the needs of the soul. By combining these two perspectives, we can gain insights into both growth engineering and living a more meaningful life.

Diversifying Growth Opportunities:

To ensure sustainable growth, it is crucial for businesses to diversify their growth opportunities. Relying on a single area of growth can be risky, as losing that area could have a significant negative impact. Jeff Chang highlights the importance of picking a north star metric and measuring acquisition opportunity sizes accurately. By knowing the unauth traffic, signup conversion rate, and activation rate, businesses can identify good growth opportunities. However, one common problem faced by new growth teams is over-investing in an opportunity that is not paying off, neglecting other potential areas for growth.

Experimentation and Learning:

When working on new growth opportunities, it is essential to balance planning with experimentation and learning. Jeff Chang advises running quick experiments to assess the worth of an opportunity. Experiment ideas can be derived from observing what other successful products do, analyzing metrics for improvement opportunities, and experiencing the product as a user. By gathering experiment results, businesses can make informed decisions about pursuing an opportunity or redirecting their efforts elsewhere.

The Microwave Economy and the Devaluation of Beauty:

David Perell's article, "The Microwave Economy," raises concerns about the prioritization of function over form and the devaluation of beauty in our society. He argues that our industrial mode of thinking, which emphasizes total quantification, has led to the loss of intuitive knowledge and the neglect of the needs of the soul. The Microwave Economy values efficiency and utility above all else, disregarding the importance of beauty, meaning, and intangible qualities that cannot be easily quantified.

Escaping the Microwave Economy:

To escape the Microwave Economy, it is crucial to shift our focus towards valuing beauty, meaning, and personal expression. David Perell suggests opting for objects that fall into four categories: generic and cheap, generic and expensive, stylish and cheap, and stylish and expensive. By consciously choosing objects that reflect our personality and creativity, we can create an environment that resonates with our values. Developing taste and escaping the Microwave Economy have little to do with wealth or proximity to luxury stores but rather with a mindset shift towards valuing the intangible and the soulful aspects of life.

Connecting Growth Engineering and Meaningful Living:

The connection between growth engineering and meaningful living lies in the importance of prioritizing the right projects. In growth engineering, diversifying growth opportunities and experimenting with different approaches are essential for sustainable growth. Similarly, in living a meaningful life, escaping the Microwave Economy and valuing beauty and personal expression are crucial for finding fulfillment.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize diversifying growth opportunities: Instead of focusing solely on one area of growth, invest in multiple areas to reduce risk and increase the chances of sustainable growth.
  • 2. Embrace experimentation and learning: Balance planning with quick experiments to assess the worth of a growth opportunity. Gather experiment results to make informed decisions about pursuing or redirecting efforts.
  • 3. Shift towards valuing beauty and personal expression: Escape the Microwave Economy by consciously choosing objects and experiences that reflect your personality and creativity, regardless of their price tag.


Prioritizing the right projects is essential for both growth engineering and living a meaningful life. By diversifying growth opportunities, embracing experimentation, and valuing beauty and personal expression, businesses can achieve sustainable growth, while individuals can find fulfillment in their lives. It is crucial to strike a balance between function and form, efficiency and meaning, to create a world that not only grows but also enriches our souls.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)