By association


We’re busy, we’re confused and we’re always seeking a shortcut.

If a company is hiring, the person who worked at Google or Apple or Disney gets more of the benefit of the doubt. Even if all they did was bring coffee to someone.

But, if that person was one of the hundreds laid off yesterday as a result of Apple shuttering their car project, not so much.

If you get pitched by someone who worked at Bird or Theranos or General Magic, what pile do they go in?

What about someone who was the assistant to an actor who just got nominated for an Academy Award vs. someone who worked for a has-been?

It’s not hard to extend this to people who went to a school with a successful football team, or who is part of a group that traditionally is given an advantage due to an accident of birth.

These are false proxies. But it’s such a natural instinct that we have to work to intentionally overcome it.

Luck isn’t contagious.


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