I see scrubs and "playing to win" as just different levels of a metagame. The losers are those who are really playing for fun but think they're playing to win. Knowing what level you actually want to be on is key.

Here's a great essay on this. He posits that when you're at the right level, you're in flow.


as for a new term, "Gut check time"?

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May 21, 2023Liked by KimSia Sim

In a 10-50-90 forecast for the range of outcomes from a probe, activity, or investment, if you were to cross the 10th percentile ("at least this much 90% of the time"), you would execute a graceful exit from the project. I think there are three parameters:

"10" is a lower limit, nominally 10th percentile, that, if crossed, means that you need to exit / withdraw immediately and go through a re-plan

"90" is an upper limit, nominally 90th percentile; if crossed means that you should consider increasing your investment - or at least go through a re-plan

"time horizon" is a schedule re-evaluation point ("a leash or an exploration budget to trigger an analysis of what you have learned") to see where you are relative to the 50% percentile (midpoint of the expected range of outcomes). If you want, you can also pick three limits: the soonest or earliest you can expect to see an impact, the average time you would expect an effect or response, and the "it's not happening" date where if you have not seen an impact by then it's probably (90% of the time) not going to happen.


I found the Cedric Chin essay profoundly disappointing. He celebrates John Malone as someone who made a lot of money but did as little as possible to improve his customers' lives. I think if I were watching "It's a Wonderful Life" with Cedric, he would get jazzed during the "Pottersville" sequence when George gets his wish and is never born, and you realize what Potters' selfish unbridled greed can do to a community. In Clayton Christensen's "How Will You Measure Your Life," he is clear on the risks of focusing on easily quantifiable and fast-changing metrics (like how much money you made last week or last month) and not paying attention to meaningful relationships that are resilient but will degrade if not adequately nurtured over time. (See https://www.skmurphy.com/blog/2020/02/16/clayton-christensen-on-how-will-you-measure-your-life/ for my summary and analysis). I had dinner with some older men I had worked with in semiconductors. I was surprised at how bitter they were; they were estranged from their wives and children and were surprised that focusing solely on making money for 20 years had destroyed vital relationships in their lives.

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For the stop-loss concept, I see a connection with your "course correction" idea. How do you know when to calibrate your course correction. Also similar to Observe and Orient in OODA

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