Outliers vs Lottery Tickets

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers shaped the way I see the world. I viewed the world through a deterministic lens. Where, if you are in the right place, surrounded by the right people, you will make it. A world where chance plays the largest role in making stuff happen. Zero to One’s chapter on not being a lottery ticket shook my worldview. You are not a lottery ticket, and the world is in your control.

Gladwell’s perspective on the world is susceptible to excuses. It’s easy to dismiss people as products of their environment. Thiel’s viewpoint follows responsibility. The onus is on an individual to will their vision into the world.

I would rather believe Thiel. It’s easy to make excuses when following Gladwell’s perspective. It’s easy to be stuck seeing the world through the lens of chance. Ultimately, the future is unknown. But I would rather believe in having the power to shape and control it.

March 25, 2021

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