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Failure Probabilities

I am always curious about ‘What made people successful’. The word ‘success’ is subjective. But with the knowledge or dataset that my brain has right now, I could say success is about having a ‘meaningful life and financial freedom’. So If you google about how to become successful, you can get lakhs of results saying persistence, skills, and a lot more. But none of the results that I read were useful. Because If I read about persistence, I am not going to wake up the next day and be persistent about my goals right? Mental changes can’t happen overnight. So the google results gave me abstraction rather than useful points that I was looking for. 

Questions

I had many questions in my mind that if skills are the only thing that matters, why scientists aren’t billionaires[1]. If persistence is the only thing that matters, farmers are real disciplined hard workers that I’ve ever seen. They wake up everyday sharp before 5 and do their job. Unfortunately, they’re not billionaires either. The majority of the population hasn’t found meaning or achieved financial freedom, they’re just living life as it is which is neither right nor wrong. 
So what makes people rich if I term ‘Becoming rich’ as successful. I call it ‘becoming rich’ instead of ‘being rich’ because right at this point in time, I am biased to hate ‘inherited wealth’ as I don’t possess any.
If you really want to learn more about building a successful & meaningful life, I’d recommend you to read the following
Why nerds are unpopular
The outliers book
Twitter thread from Paras Chopra
Where does talent come from by Alexy Guzey
So what I learned is that, success doesn’t happen in a random way. It does have a pattern to it. In simple terms, here are a few questions that will get you thinking.

  • What if Bill Gates was born in India instead of Seattle, USA. You can pretty much imagine India in 1955
  • What if Elon Musk doesn’t have the opportunity to move to the USA by 1989. What if his VISA was rejected? 
  • What if Steve Jobs was born in 1995 instead of 1955? But wait, is the birth year of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs the same? They both were beautiful rivals. Is there any link to success and their birth year?
  • What if Mark Zuckerberg was born poor and can’t afford to get into ‘Harvard’
  • What if ‘Zuckerberg’ didn’t have the ability to code, instead he was a designer?
  • One School in India produced the CEOs of Microsoft, Adobe, and Mastercard. Why is that?

These are a lot of imaginary ‘what if’ questions. But there’s a reason why you need to ask these questions. You could’ve come across a lot of people who say ‘If someone has a talent, he/she will succeed wherever they are’. The statement itself is a myth or it is often stated to boost your confidence for the moment. But it all boils down to a few external factors like accessibility, where you are, economic status. Then comes the internal factors like wanting to succeed, right skills, persistence, ethics, and more. 

Assumptions

Let’s say you’re from a poor background in India where your parents work for daily wages. You don’t spend your childhood ‘exploring ideas’ because you’d be hungry. However, if you got a school education, the probability of getting a skilled teacher who makes you ‘think’ will be really less. I am not saying ‘Being poor’ will let you not think, I am talking in terms of probabilities relative to most of the population. Of course, there are outliers who thrive from economically backward backgrounds, but the probability of success will be really less. You must have the ability and accessibility to ‘think freely’ which will increase your success rate. 
But knowing all these parameters can increase your odds of success. Because you know what the parameters are and how to resolve them one by one. ‘If you’re struggling for food and rent, you can’t focus on anything else’. So the first thing you need to be doing is to make your daily living sustainable. 

Moving Personal

Moving from generalization to my personal life, I dropped out of college as I was strongly feeling a college degree is not going to help me. I helped to build a company from scratch and had to quit because I wanted it to grow more. Building the company was an emotional roller coaster for me. I always felt like I will die if I don’t make the company grow or deliver the product at the right time. Remember the scene from Batman prison escape scene from ‘The dark knight rises’? Here it is
<iframe width=”853″ height=”480″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-5zdmA7HSoE” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>The Movie Dialogue as follows:
Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Bruce Wayne: Why?
Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there’s no one there to save it.
Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.
Bruce Wayne: How?
Blind Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.
This is how exactly I felt while building the company. The fear of death made me learn really really so much of things in a very short period of time. I didn’t have a choice other than learning and implementing. I had to spend my whole night reading and morning to implement. It made me a polymath
As of now, I am freelancing. I really don’t have a lot of money to bootstrap a startup and I don’t have coding skills. These 2 are my probable failure points which I really need to work on.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I always advise people — Don’t wait! Do something when you are young, when you have nothing to lose, and keep that in mind.
-Steve Jobs</p>&mdash; Sanjai kutty ✨ (@sanjai_kutty) <a href=”https://twitter.com/sanjai_kutty/status/1288493713858027521?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 29, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>I am young and I really got nothing to lose right now if I try something and that’s the greatest advantage that I see. Here’s how I am planning to work on my probable failure points

My Probable Failure Points

  • Access to money – Probability of failure is 20% – Can go for a high paying job and build something in parallel
  • Not knowing Coding – Probability of failure is 80% – Option 1: Learn to code, Option 2: Find a way to make developer friends. Going for a job where I can make friends will help too

I am sort of really confident that one day I’ll succeed and build a company that people love. It might be funny if I read this blog post after 10 years. That’s how the life game is designed, isn’t it?
If you’re a developer reading this and want to get in touch, you can drop me a mail at smsanjaiast@gmail.com

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