Being lucky is at least as important as being great

Venture Capitalist and lucky man Bill Tai shared a great article from Scientific American today, “The Role of Luck In Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized”. As one of the research studies in the article concludes, it’s better to be moderately-talented-but-lucky than it is to be the-most-talented-but-unlucky.

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Luck never falls in the middle of the crowd.

Are you skilled at acknowledging your talents?

Skill is just learning how to do something better. Talent is just being better-than-average at something before you develop a skill, and continuing to be better than something when everybody else has developed their skill. Talent gives you a persistent edge on everyone else who has developed their skill.

How to be more lucky

Exploiting your talents requires stepping away from the crowd, and fortunately, when you step away from the crowd, it makes you more lucky.

Everyday life is when the ball lands in the middle of that big group. Luck is when the ball lands right in the hands of someone standing way out on their own.

In a big group, the stronger and faster group members have a better chance of touching a football, so the distribution of cash will be uneven, but a million dollars split among 20 people doesn’t make that much difference to anybody’s whole life unless they’re living in poverty*.

Luck never falls in the middle of the crowd.

One day, like me, you might get pushed out of the crowd and off to a lonely corner, forced to survive on the creative application of your talents. Or like Chanie, you might develop the courage to walk out across the field to stand alone despite what the crowd thinks of you.

I’m Alan Jones, an EiR for startup accelerators, GP at M8 Ventures. Previously investor, founder, and early Yahoo PM. Opinions mine (but should also be yours).

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