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For Those Who Want to Get Lucky

Hey Everyone,

Hope you're having a great week. Here are a few things I've been reading and pondering lately. Enjoy!


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1. Luck Is a Long String of YES’s

This is a great article by 99U's founding editor Jocelyn K. Glei. My favorite line: "Luck can’t be controlled, but it can be nurtured."

...Luck and hard work are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the success of almost any endeavor depends on both. Or, as that old Seneca quote goes: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

So what if — rather than denying the role of luck — we asked the question: “Well, how can I get lucky?” Because, funnily enough, there are actually ways to do that. Not to guarantee that you will be lucky, but to substantively increase your chances of getting lucky.

(Jocelyn also just launched a podcast that I recommend checking out.)

2. Disagree and Commit

This is an idea I discovered in Jocelyn's podcast (mentioned above). It's a snippet of a recent Jeff Bezos shareholder letter in which he shares one of the strategies Amazon uses to make decisions. Instead of searching for consensus, they they encourage people to commit to ideas if they feel strongly about them. Disagreeing and still committing is an interesting way to move faster than teams who wait around for unanimity and the watered-down ideas it tends to generate.

...Use the phrase “disagree and commit.” This phrase will save a lot of time. If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, “Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?” By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.

3. 7 Things Enormously Financially Successful People Refuse to Do

These ideas can help you achieve financial goals, but they're suprisingly flexible. For best results, apply liberally.

The truth is, ordinary people can do extraordinary things. But it's not just what they choose to do that matters, it's what they refuse to do that matters as well.

4. When Giants Fail

I've shared this before, but it's worth re-reading or exploring for the first time. It's a beautifully written story about one of the most influential business thinkers of all-time, Clay Christensen.

“Everybody talks about disruption now,” George Gilder, a technology writer and onetime business partner of Christensen’s, says. “Clayton inserted that word in the mind of every C.E.O. in technology. Everywhere you go, people explain that they’re disrupting this or disrupting that. Every big company now tries to disrupt itself all the time, and it’s not clear to me that it’s always a good thing.”

Have a great weekend!

Jimmy

PS - I'm looking to partner with a few great businesses to sponsor this newsletter. It reaches a bunch of smart folks from places like Google, Apple, Spotify, New York Times, Marriott and Harvard. Shoot me an email if you're interested in working together.

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