Lockdown made me get into working on my side-projects. I obviously wanted to be successful, so I started reading a bunch of business books side by side. A common theme I came across all these successful stories was the “luck” factor.
“I was there at the right place right time”.
Being an engineer, my first thought was “Can I hack luck? Can I do something to optimize for more luck?” Obviously you can’t control luck. Such events are quite random, but what you can do is increase the surface area so you are exposed more to such events.
The amount of serendipity that will occur in your life, your Luck Surface Area, is directly proportional to the degree to which you do something you’re passionate about combined with the total number of people to whom this is effectively communicated.
I grew up in Delhi — world’s second most populous city in the world with the population of over 29 million. In such a dense city, your surface area is probably exposed to unhealthy levels, but there is a good side to it.
When I was in university, a bunch of new tech companies with ambitious ideas were starting up in the city. Through a mutual friend I got in touch with Ankur Saxena (VP at Grofers: now India’s biggest grocery delivery service). Impressed him with my side projects and started working with him. I made lots of friends there, and through connections I got introduced to someone at Zomato (now India’s biggest food delivery service) and made even more friends. Before I had graduated, I had worked at top 4 India’s big tech companies (very unusual from my college) without ever sitting for placements (the usual way students get placed in companies).
After graduation I decided to move to a new country 🇨🇦, which gave me anonymity. “Could I act like whomever I want to be and create a new identity for myself?” I felt like a tourist. I talked to strangers waiting in line for coffee, made small talks in elevators, pet stranger’s dog in park, and said “Hi” to a cute stranger at a local grocery store 😅.
I made new friends, went on dates, learnt about other people’s culture and made lots of good memories.
I know all of this sounds like a lot of bragging but i can’t help but think where would I be if I wasn’t so proactive, or if I hadn’t moved around?
To me it’s a gentle reminder to do more, produce more output, keep meeting new people and keep moving around. 🚀