Nov 2013
Invest in People

In 1984 a 20 year-old philosophy student named Rick Rubin and a 26 year-old hip-hop promoter named Russell Simmons founded a record label called Def Jam Recordings1.

One of my favourite quotes comes from Simmons, whose mentality helped Def Jam become the most ubiquitous label in hip-hop history.

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.

I recently came across a post by Verne Ho about the importance of surrounding yourself with good people, and it reminded me of the Russell Simmons quote I’ve held closely for years. I loved Verne’s sketch notes on the subject, and they inspired my attempt to recreate them as on the web.

Check out what I came up with here.


  1. Def Jam went on to pioneer the hip-hop revolution of the late 80’s, and today is home to artists like Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Rihanna.