Shaquille Zuckerberg

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Summary Argument: Mark Zuckerberg and Shaquille O'Neal are both examples of super successful people inside their respective domains. This article argues that Zuckerberg's success is much less repeatable than O'Neal's success, even though Zuckerberg's success is relatively higher from a statistical standpoint.  467 tokens
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     If you watch videos of Shaquille O'Neal playing basketball in high school against his peers, he looks like a man playing against children. He is almost twice the size of some of these teenagers. He dribbles down the court and dunks and looks like a fish out of water. When Shaq was in high school, there were not thousands of 7 footers playing as high school students throughout the country. He was several standard deviations above the average.
     Mark Zuckerberg is obviously very smart and did well enough in high school to get into Harvard. But even within his own private prep school, there were undoubtedly other Harvard bound classmates that were within his intellectual realm. Certainly there were thousands of very very smart high schoolers throughout the country that were within a standard deviation of Zuck's intelligence. Even at Harvard, other smart students like the Winklevoss twins and Aaron Greenspan claimed to have started the seedling of Facebook. So it wasn't as if he was like a Ramanujan pulling formulas out of a magician's hat.
     If you could replay the past over, it's much more probable that Shaquille O'Neal would end up again in the NBA than Mark Zuckerberg would end up being the titan of Facebook. Again, Zuckerberg is clearly smart and has made conscious moves that have turned out well. But this seems to hide a great deal of events that Zuckerberg really had no conscious control over. The same goes with Jack Dorsey or Evan Williams or Evan Spiegel.
     People seem to conflate the huge gaps in power and wealth between the Big Tech CEOs and the average person to the huge gaps in ability that Shaq has over the average basketball player. There are not thousands of 7 foot, athletic high schoolers who do not excel and play post-high school basketball. But there are thousands of extremely smart computer entrepreneurs who do not excel and build successful businesses.

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