FASTer - Issue #125

🍀Luck and Risk💥 are siblings 👫🏻

They are both the reality that every outcome in life is guided by forces other than individual effort.

The above headline is from a quote from the book The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel.

Luck and risk play a significant role in shaping every life outcome, alongside personal effort. These two factors are deeply intertwined – believing in one necessitates respecting the other. They stem from life's intricate nature, where your actions don't solely determine results. They share a common source: you're a single player amidst billions, with countless variables in play. Unforeseen external influences can outweigh your deliberate choices.

Exercise caution in your admiration and judgment of others. Watch out for assumptions that attribute all outcomes to sheer effort and choices.

People's circumstances vary vastly: supportive or opposed to education, thriving economies or war-torn ones. I wish your success and its rightful attainment, but remember that hard work doesn't exclusively define success, nor does poverty solely equate to laziness. This perspective applies to self-judgment and others.

Seek actionable insights by recognizing widespread success and failure patterns. The more common a pattern, the more relevance it holds for your life, patterns determine outcomes, the sooner you can figure that out and use it, the better your own outcomes will be.

  • Luck and risk are both important factors in the success of a startup. Luck is the random events that happen outside of your control, while risk is the possibility of negative outcomes. You can't control luck, but you can mitigate risk by making smart decisions.

  • Don't be too quick to judge people based on their success or failure. There are many factors that contribute to someone's outcome, including luck, timing, and circumstances.

  • Focus on the things you can control. Don't waste time worrying about things you can't change. Instead, focus on working hard, making smart decisions, and taking calculated risks.

  • Look for broad patterns of success and failure. This will help you identify the factors that are most important for success.


In 1993, a Canadian lawyer named Garry Hoy claimed to a group of students that the windows in his building were unbreakable. To prove this, he threw himself at the window at full force. While the glass didn't break, the frame popped out, and Gary fell 24 stories to his death.

Being sure of ones self or ones actions is not a bad trait, but being sure that all other constants will also hold true is not some thing that entrepreneurs should focus on.

We need to understand our outcomes are not singular, they are not isolated and that they are related to a host of things around us. To get the best outcomes we must consider the actions, feedback and information around the periphery of our own actions. This is a key skill and trait often lost with success.

Garry Hoy was a corporate and securities law specialist for the law firm of Holden Day Wilson in Toronto. While giving a tour of the Toronto-Dominion Centre to a group of articling students, he attempted to demonstrate the strength of the structure's window glass by slamming himself into a window. Some thing he was sure of…

He had apparently performed this stunt many times in the past, having previously bounced harmlessly off the glass. After one attempt which saw the glass hold up, Hoy tried once more.

Make sure that experiences, even if they are your own do not cloud your judgment in relation to the outcomes you seek.

In this instance, the force of Hoy slamming into the window removed the window from its frame, causing the entire intact window and Hoy to fall from the building. This occurred in a small conference room adjacent to a boardroom where a reception was being held for new articling students.

Structural engineer Bob Greer was quoted by the Toronto Star as saying, "I don't know of any building code in the world that would allow a 160-pound [73 kg] man to run up against a glass and withstand it."

In another interview, the firm's spokesman mentioned that the glass, in fact, did not break, but popped out of its frame, leading to Hoy's fatal plunge.

Hoy's death contributed to the closing of Holden Day Wilson in 1996, which at the time was the largest law firm closure in Canada. Imagine, the outcome of every one who worked at that firm, its partners, three years down the road were completely changed because of this tragedy, simply because Hoys luck ran out so to say on that fateful day in 1993. His outcomes were linked to the outcomes of many others.

One New Thing (That you should know)

Approximately 64% of adults use some form of vision correction, including eyeglasses, contact lenses, and/or vision correction surgery. Over 4 billion people across the globe wear glasses. Half of the planet will require glasses by 2050. Talk about discovering a new market, a given market, a steady market. What is your excuse for not building for that? Heres a look at the market size.

Boring Stuff That Scales

Ever heard of the 85% rule?

I read a post that clarified it for me.

It's an intriguing concept suggesting that when athletes are told to exert themselves at 85% effort, they often perform better than when striving for the full 100%. Sounds crazy??? Let's delve into why this might work.

Take the legendary Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis as an example. Known for his mastery of finishing strong but starting slow, he had a secret: he wasn't running flat out. He maintained an 85% effort throughout races, a strategy that led him to consistent victories.

Why 85%? Well, it aligns with the idea that peak performance doesn't always come from pushing yourself to the absolute brink. It's in those moments when tasks feel effortless, and you're in a state of "flow." This approach allows you to keep your pace, focus on maintaining your form, and finish strong.

Physiologically, this concept makes sense too. Continuously pushing at 100% can lead to burnout and increased risk of injuries. By operating at 85%, you give your body the chance to recover, reducing the potential for overexertion.

The concept isn't limited to athletics.

Consider applying the 85% rule in your work. Rather than always going all-out, adopt a deliberate pace. Focus on optimizing systems and directing 85% of your mental energy towards tasks. This approach can boost productivity without draining you completely.

In your diet, don't aim for perfection; aim for 85% healthy choices. This way, you avoid the "all or nothing" mindset and promote healthier eating habits.

When it comes to workouts, pushing yourself to failure every time can lead to diminishing returns and potential injuries. Instead, target 85% intensity. This allows you to concentrate on proper form and reduces the risk of overtraining.

The keys to embracing the 85% rule include a relaxed approach, emphasis on maintaining form, setting your mindset at 85% intensity, working just below your maximum threshold, and knowing when to stop as you approach your limits.

So, rather than always aiming for 100%, consider adopting the 85% mindset. It's a strategy that Carl Lewis and others have shown can unlock better performance and balance in various areas of life. While it might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, experimenting with this concept could lead you to new levels of success and well-being.

Sounds boring, but trust me this allows you to scale your outcomes more significantly vs doing things at a 100% and being burnt out.

What You Should Be Reading(about)

Lessons from West Point, that you don’t have to go there to learn. But they can significantly alter your business and personal outcomes.

West Point, officially known as the United States Military Academy (USMA), is a prestigious institution located in West Point, New York. It was established in 1802 and is one of the oldest military academies in the United States. West Point's primary mission is to educate, train, and develop cadets into future leaders of the U.S. Army.

Monetize your time

By making sure you never forget about service. Service is paramount, in life, in business, in any thing you do. Your outcomes can be traced back to the service quality you subscribe to as an individual. This thread is a profound reminder to know what service means and why we would focus on it to monetize our time and interactions.

One Last Thing

Do you ever think of it like the Pacific Salmon. Perhaps not, but They spend their whole life making this journey upstream to spawn in this one spot. And as soon as they do, they die.

But what you may think about is, that many rich and celebrated people talk about chasing money and recognition, getting it, and realizing that it didn't feel like they thought it would. That it didn't, fill the hole they had.

So ask yourself this, is the goal you chase today, some thing worth chasing?

The work has to be the win. Ultimately, you have to love doing it. You have to get to a place where doing the work is the win and everything else is extra.

Bonus! Thought of the week

Have you ever thought, There is no reason for baby clothing to have pockets, yet most clothes do? I cant help but think about this, for generations we have continued to optimize for design patterns that don’t lead to any efficient use, making pockets that will never be used, but that has never stopped a parent from buying clothes with pockets for babies…

Some times logic and efficiency over rule trends, patterns and socially acceptable norms.There in lies the key to building successful outcomes from things that seem mundane and trivial.

Given the chance would you change that? for the baby fashion industry or other industries? Where form doesn’t dictate use or use doesn’t dictate form, yet it continues to being so.

Can you think of other such examples? How can you profit from those?