Seek Random Payoffs vs Linear Returns

The “normal” (and boring!) things in life take linear effort and produce a linear return.

- If you work twice as many hours at McDonald’s, you’ll make twice as many dollars.
- If you vacuum your floor for twice as long, you’ll get twice as many clean rooms.

The much more valuable things require a long period of sustained effort upfront followed by random, exponential returns.

Starting a company, building a network of friends, or becoming a great photographer, novelist, painter, or musician all require tons of upfront effort — often where you’re obviously struggling and nothing seems to be working — until the pieces come together.

But it’s worth it. Because in general, anything with a linear effort to return -- e.g. where you put in Y time and reliably get $Y back -- won't ever have a phase where it explodes in value.

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