You are not a lottery ticket

This is a (personal) short summary that I wrote of Peter Thiel's CS183: Class 13: You are not a lottery ticket. Serves as a quick reminder of what was said in this class.

Luck vs. Skill

How people think of the future:

1. Determinate: One right path. Conviction.
2. Indeterminate: Unknownable, uncontrollable future => You diversify your activities.
A/B: Optimism/Pessimism: Promise/Fear of future.

1A: Working towards a better future ('50s, '60s)
2A: Do incremental things & wait for progress ('00)
1B: Europe today

Financial (can be applied to the matrix above):

  • Bad future? => Little investment, lots of savings
  • Good future? => Invest, little savings

2A: Low savings, low investment => how can you be optimistic about the future?

Calculus (determinate) vs statistics (indeterminate):
Anyone who claims to know the future takes a statistical view of the future.
1A: Big innovations => money = means to an end
2A: Finance ("diversify" they say nowadays) => money = optionality, they don't know what to do with it

Everything seems to be overshadowed by indeterminacy nowadays. When you have definite plans, you tend not to quit because you know you can do much more. That's why startups nowadays lean more towards selling the company.

Young people tend to be indeterminately optimistic => luck dominates too much.
=> Have a plan. Even if it changes. Sometimes Control Alt Delete is the best change.