Luck Surface Area: a thesis for Location-Based Behavior

Blog post

I first heard about the Luck Surface Area from Esteban Dalel during the Pioneer summit in San Francisco. Basically, it is just a fancy way to say that you should expose yourself to situations that might positively impact you.

On the other side of the coin, you should also avoid situations with an expected value <=0 (i.e. a bar fight, where you might get very unlucky). However, this has already been discussed many times.

I think Location-Based Behavior is a far more exciting concept. Location-Based Behavior implies that geography affects your luck surface area, so you should decide how to maximize it in different ways depending on where you are.

If you're paying 10x to live in San Francisco or any other major US city, act accordingly. It's not efficient to be sitting in front of your laptop the whole day. Go out and talk to people. If you really have to do that kind of focused-deep-work, move to a cheaper country where living conditions are better—and enter monk mode.

This is not to say there's no value in being on a US tech hub for some months a year—if you use it to multiply your Surface Luck Area. How? By doing things that put you in situations where you can meet people that are relevant to what you're doing. This might be spending $330/mo to go to Equinox or $400/mo for a hot desk at WeWork. You're not getting the best value for your money, in principle, but you're paying to increase your Surface Luck Area.

Train in Equinox without headphones, close your laptop at WeWork.
Photo by Kellen Riggin / Unsplash