‘The Necessary Condition For Winning The Lottery Is To Buy A Ticket’

December 19, 2012 3:25 pm

That is the single most important thing we learnt from Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The funny thing is, very few of us actually buy those many tickets. What is stopping us?

Well, think about the way most of us have designed our lives:

1. We have a steady ramp with an okay slope
2. We have a huge surface area for negative black swan events (e.g. disease, accident,earthquake etc) which we “insure” against, by paying money.
3. So most of us have chosen to design our lives with a known positive ramp graph with a not-so-great slope, but with open possibility for huge negative black swan events.

If you think about it, we have absolutely no surface area for positive black swan events (huge career moves, sudden riches, a stunning ramp-up). But why? Why do we all choose to live our lives with ZERO surface area for positive black swan events?

Think about it for a minute – is that not strange?

Let us build iOS apps. Or Android Apps. Start a company. Whatever. We just need to increase the surface area for positive black swans in our lives.

Because, like Taleb says, the necessary condition for winning the lottery is to buy a ticket. Let us do it.

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