Do you have an edge?
An angle that no one else does?
I’ll give you an example.
See, in a way, my uncle has an edge.
50 years ago he didn’t just go out and try to sell furniture to all the public schools in Alabama.
He was a high school football star in Alabama.
And a basketball star. He even won a state championship in track.
Later, he played football and basketball on scholarship at Auburn University.
Everyone knew who he was.
On top of all that, his father – my grandfather – was a county superintendent.
Everybody who is anybody in Alabama public education was on a first name basis with his father.
And half the state wanted to meet him over his sports accolades.
Imagine being the poor guy who was trying to outsell him.
He never even knew what he was walking into.
The deal was probably nearly decided before the first meeting.
An investor tells me that with each investment, Peter Thiel likes to ask: What do I know about this company that other investors don’t know? In other words: Do we have an edge? It’s only with some sort of informational asymmetry, goes the thinking, that one can not only beat the market but dominate it, and get the kind of return that takes a $ 500,000 check and turns it into a billion.
-Ryan Holiday, Conspiracy