Before you start reading this piece, I want to inform you that the question presented here is equivalent to a mathematical problem that has multiple possible answers. The answer depends on you; how do you arrive at one of his articles, and what are you seeking.
Sounds like a zen proverb, right?
Yes. Take my “personal” answer/solution to this question for example.
Looking in the past, most of the time I’ve found myself reading the essays when I’m sitting in MTR on my own trying to spend some time off, amidst the constant background noise of people ordering the same three items over and over.
And that’s exactly where I found this question.
I was wondering if they can be presented in a manner that is relevant to some readers. In this article, I’ve collated the essays into five different categories.
This one is easy. You can just go to the essays section of his website and start from the very first essay he wrote. Obviously, You will have to scroll to the end.
Paul has shared a list of his favorite essays on Twitter. You can find the listing here.
If you don’t want to visit Twitter, here is a public Google Sheet that contains the favorite essays.
Here are some of the top-performing articles in terms of backlinks (based on a free MOZ report).
The essays build on each other so well, that you can see the wisdom being laid out in front of you. You are reading essay A and it has a subtle mention of essay B.
Here is the list of top-10 essays based on their reference-authority (PageRank) in all other essays by Paul.
If you want to read all of them in an organised manner as per the Bloom’s taxonomy, here is a public Google Sheet that contains them in the proper order.
The essays generally touch on multiple aspects of life. It’s common to find a general life-advice hidden somewhere in a programming essay. And this makes it complex to precisely categorize the essays, but I’ve made an attempt to achieve the same.
There are ten categories listed here, along with the top-3 articles from that category. Please be mindful that the classification was done using a generic model, and it might have given the wrong result in some cases. If you encounter any wrong categorization, please let me know.
If you want to access categorization for all the essays, here is a public Google Sheet for you.
Mindset and Mental Models
Personal Behavior and Improvement
Startups and Business
Arts Literature in Society
Programming and Technology
Technical Perception in Society
Art in Business
Science and Society
You can’t deny the fact that the essays are extremely relatable if you’re somewhat close to startups. They give the feeling of a favorite book or movie that you just keeps giving, and you still feel there is something that you’ve missed.
It seems like you can find everything there. Some of the articles are underrated too, and it brings a different feeling when you read them. I’ve used them to design better survey or interview questions, to learn from others, and much more.
Go ahead and find a sequence that is unique to you.