Published on

The Power of Abstract Strategy


This newsletter has been going on for a year now, and it's time for a slight upgrade.

There's much to say about producing this newsletter and how it's been an experiment and exercise in self-rediscovery, content creation, and putting oneself out there. I'm glad I started it and glad you've been along for the weird 1-year ride! There have been more positive outcomes than I could recount, so expect a "learnings" issue at some point in the future. But for now, onto slightly more important things ...

Abstract Strategy: Navigating a Shifting World

The following is a fork from the storyline of this newsletter thus far, which has been an experiment and meta-narrative of the happening in the technology world. This fork is the start of a new series, "Abstract Strategy."

Abstract Strategy is the lens one adopts when the prior referential start to shift. We live in a time that's not only turbulent but underneath is the most exciting human story ever designed. This referential shift is happening because of the mass-interconnectedness of the world post-COVID-19 coupled with human behavioral shifts.

Abstract Strategy in Technology and Human Networks

People are more connected than ever, more inside their homes than ever, and rely on their second screens more than ever.

We are collectively turning into an information species.

That's not a bad thing, per se worth opening a tangent here on another lens that'll be helpful in everything that comes after (in this piece and whatever I drop by inbox in the future): both "Bad" and "Good" are relative to time, and to this referential.

Pick any "bad" event that's ever happened in your life, and I'm willing to PayPal* you $5 if you can't find a single "good" thing that came out of it on a future date. (*capped to the first 10 people – with whom I'll also schedule a long deep dive conversation, and we'll find at least one good thing, lol.)

The Power of Perfect Information: Chess, Go, and Checkers

Ok, so what does anything have to do with Abstract Strategy, and what does that even mean?

I came up with the phrase "Abstract Strategy" without realizing there's a board game gene of "Abstract Strategy games", of which chess is one. These games are characterized by the absence of randomness, chance, or hidden information, meaning that outcomes are determined solely by a player's skill. The theme game is either nonexistent (chess!) or irrelevant to the gameplay (happy potter chess!), and players take turns to play.

Classic examples of abstract strategy games include chess, Go, and checkers. In these games, all players have perfect information about the state of the game at all times, and the only difference between the players' positions is who gets to move next.

In such games, strategy and tactical decision-making are of paramount importance. No element of luck or randomness is involved; everything depends on the players' choices. Hence, winning or losing in an abstract strategy game directly reflects a player's ability to outmaneuver their opponent.

Applying Abstract Strategy to Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Personal Development

What do Abstract Strategy, Experimentation, and Technology have in common?

As I mentioned, Abstract Strategy is the lens one adopts when the prior referential shift. It's the lens one adopts to understand how even the seemingly smallest product and technology changes can impact larger-than-life scale over days/weeks/months/years. And so, depending on which technology we look at, the scale of impact could be measured within one of these timeframes.

Abstract Strategy is how we can begin to understand AI's influence on the future; how information networks shape human networks throughout time and different timescales; and how some communities keep fighting for their voices to be heard, only always to be suppressed by a much larger voice later. The "Theory of Relativity", but applied to the interplay between human and information networks.

Lastly, an important disclaimer: This isn't for the faint-hearted, and we'll be going with more people than ever before. We'll go as deep in the exploration as possible, collectively steer it "somewhere" through feedback and interactions, and hope not to get you stuck in a submarine somewhere...

Welcome Onboard the Abstract Strategy Journey

Abstract Strategy is what you leverage to not go crazy in a never-ending, seemingly random, and crazy world. A Suprafrontal Cortex 🧠 upgrade to see things beyond the screen.

Thank you for being a part of this adventure, and I look forward to our continued exploration. Welcome onboard!