Further exploring the idea of Leverage — force multipliers people use to do 10x, 100x, or 1,000,000x what others can.

Thread #1 introduced Leverage.
Thread #2 covered Tools.

L E V E R A G E — Thread #3: People Leverage
Summary: People leverage is much broader than employer/employee relationships.

Because of specialization, cooperation is a critical piece of building your mountain of levers.
(If you’re new here, start with Thread #1) https://twitter.com/EricJorgenson/status/1326925355064696832?s=20
Previously, @naval gave people (labor) leverage a bad rap:
But, people leverage is important because people:
- Have complementary skills and perspectives
- Can make decisions in your stead
- Can hire and coordinate other people + resources
- Can influence others
- Can unlock other forms of leverage
As @naval points out: Labor is permissioned, and it is not infinitely extensible or zero-marginal-cost in the way that capital and digital products are…

Yet without using people leverage in some form, most will encounter a low ceiling on growth.
Can you ship a new app to a waiting list of 10,000 in 3 months?

You can with the right team.

Can you get 10,000 people to purchase your service?

You can with 1,000 true fans.

Can you get 100,000 people to read your tweet?

You can with 100 retweets.
With good alignment and communication between people, 1+1 = 3.
There is no hierarchy implied in “people leverage” -- we are all someone else’s Leverage.

As Bob Dylan says, ya "Gotta Serve Somebody:"
Cooperating with others for mutual advantage is how humans evolved.

Like it or not, we’re ants in a colony, and we all need to work together to thrive.
People leverage (cooperation) isn’t just employer-employee, it can take many forms:
- Contractors
- Consultants
- Team-mates
- Co-stars
- Fans
- Service Providers
- Agencies
- Audience
- Community
- Collaborators
- Gig workers
Service Providers, Consultants, and Agencies can bring unique, valuable skills.

Properly applying the talents of experts can unlock a lot of value -- you do not have to learn everything yourself.

Sometimes an expert already has “the key” and you don’t need to make a new one.
Labor concept is ancient, but technology is changing how we cooperate.

Today and increasingly in the future, people leverage looks like:
- Open-source communities
- Liquid, task-based labor markets
- Coding Bounties
- Anonymous global talent pools
Yes, there are one-person million-dollar companies and 10-person billion-dollar companies.

And yes, they still use people leverage -- in the form of vendors, virality, community, etc.
Bitcoin, the most extreme example of code-leverage is valuable only because of how cleverly it understood, aligned and incentivized people.

It’s a cult without a leader, and users channel their own cause *through* Bitcoin.
A local plumbing company uses people leverage:
- Accountant as expert consultant
- Office staff for customer service
- Assistant on job site for efficiency
- Happy customers referring new customers
A celebrity actress uses people leverage:
- Agent to find, negotiate and execute new jobs
- Publicist to find, arrange, and use media
- Business manager to allocate capital
- Fans and audience to spread her work
. @elonmusk has enormous people leverage:
- 60,000+ employees across Tesla, SpaceX, etc execute Musk’s vision with their judgement and expertise.
- 36 million Twitter followers purchase, market, and evangelize.
- Thousands of investors lend support, capital, and advice.
. @RayDalio has a specific leverage goal with his senior team: 50:1.

That is, someone works on a project for 50 hours for every 1 hour they report to him on it.

For managers who work with junior teams, he suggests a 10:1 ratio.
So how do you build and grow your own people leverage?

Study people. Experiment. Start.

Improve communication, patience, and character.

Learn to delegate, trust, and encourage others to “write with their own handwriting”
Employees, followers, community, and relationships are *earned* through character, consistency, and leadership.
As @Naval has hinted, there are many risks and downsides of people leverage:
- Fickle
- Moral hazard
- Unpredictable
- Expensive
- Expiring effort
Disclaimer: Apply leverage carefully and systematically.

(Especially with people leverage, which carries great responsibility.)

Live by the lever, die by the lever.
You can follow @EricJorgenson.
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