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Memes & Motivation 40: Accepting It
Like an addict accepting that they have a problem, I've become convinced that the first step to getting luckier is to accept that the world is a lot more random than we would like.
Why? Because internalizing that about the world has helped me take steps to take advantage of it.
Stubbornly attributing to smarts and skill that which belongs to luck is like an addict never admitting they have a problem.
If you want to do that that's fine, but I think you're deceiving yourself, and that'll only make things harder.
I once worked on a feature at Jet with a few people that had the effect of increasing conversion by 100%+, that's millions of dollars in extra GMV. We built it in a week. There were features that we spent months on that went nowhere. After thinking about this recently, I realized that's luck and that impacts more than just lotto winners and entrepreneurs.
Also, I understand that I needed some skill and smarts to be in that position in the first place but without the luck I would've never impacted things the same way. There are many people that have the skills and smarts and unfortunately don't get the luck.
But I think if we can accept that role luck plays, we can begin working more consciously to take advantage of it.
My hope is that some of the lessons I am internalizing from my journey and from courses like Small Bets might help you in some way too.
Let's get into a few things I ran into this week.
Risk and the Modern World
I believe that many of us in this modern world can afford to take on far more smart risk than we do.
I get that it's easy for me to say that since I am in the midst of a lot of risk-taking, but people used to risk life and limb in the not too distant past to acquire something. This advice is very much me talking to the past risk-averse me, and in case that's you, I hope it helps you.
The sad thing is that many of us won't even risk upsetting our boss or bosses boss to ask for a raise. Or won't risk building something without someone's permission first.
It's because the dangers of too little risk taking are not that obvious
What's happening in tech?
This Tweet from Gergely perfectly captures how the tech world is shifting at lightning speed.
Every time I talk to my network running Engineering teams at Startups and even some big places, the story is the same these days. Attrition is through the roof, finding great people is getting harder and harder.
If you are in that position, running teams, my recommendation is do everything you can to make sure your people are happy, engaged, and well compensated.
Companies and managers should always be doing that but now the stakes have never been higher.
One Essay from this Week
This essay by my friend Danny about what regular writing can do to the person is incredible. I met Danny last May as part of my first Ship30For30, Danny never stopped writing, he's now at 200+ essays in.
Writing and publishing so much has transformed his whole life, its worth a read if you are thinking about building an incredibly high leverage skill in 2022.
Two Memes from this Week
It's always fun to pick on the hiring process in Tech, this Meme is too real.
You may have seen this Meme already but I couldn't help it. This one hits home because unfortunately many companies backends do look like that.
Thank you for reading and have a great weekend.
P.S. I have one small ask, if you watched and enjoyed my recent course Timeless Career Advice for Engineers, to go leave a review on Gumroad for me.
Thank you to all of you that checked it out.
I have been busy preparing some extra modules to add to it based on feedback (free for those that bought it already), I am a little behind, but the idea is to add as much as I think will be helpful to help engineers get ahead.