Life is an experiment

Posted on May 16, 2016. Filed under: startups, venture capital |

Life is an experiment…when I was a bit younger…i lived this way very truly…the world was this fabric that you could touch and bend…and most of what i did…whether professionally, socially, romantically, or otherwise…was try to bend it. I hated the concept of “the path”…I detested highly predictable outcomes and the decisions that would lead to them…all I wanted to do was look at the world as an experiment and fuck with it because I could see it that way, and most other people weren’t trying to. I was not outcome oriented. A successful bend of the fabric, or the discovery of a nuanced wrinkle…these were wins for sure…but not toward any end beyond empirical progress…simply exploring and testing was the reward, and it was everywhere.

When you start to get comfortable in whatever reality you have designed for yourself, you stop trying to bend it. You start to get attached to the notion that one outcome is better than the other…you start to believe that your current understanding or context is better than what might be around the next corner…and this penchant for stability creeps in and starts telling you to run less experiments…or run more outcome oriented experiments…you start to develop a will as to which way you want the experiment to unfold…and maybe you stop taking on experiments that don’t have some purpose beyond a specific desired outcome.

I feel as though I’ve become less plastic..less willing to treat life as an experiment…maybe for good reason…i have all these good things in life that i don’t want to disrupt. I have financial stability from hyperpublic and lerer ventures. I have romantic stability in my soon to be wife. I have social stability with friends i like. I have professional stability accrued over years of hard work and thought…these are all things that make me happy…and if i only run experiments where a likely outcome will strengthen them…there’s a pretty darn good chance that this nice reality will persist…

The problem is…part of my energy…part of what makes me me…comes from instability. I like shaking things up…I like change…and it’s in these changes that i see and love the fabric of the world. I am the deepest expression of myself when I am learning and discovering…when i am touching newness…and I am something less when I am moving through things I’ve seen or done or understood before.

So when life becomes less of an experiment…i become less of myself…or at least the self i feel most connected to.

Things have a way of stacking up…as responsibility and expectations and life cement…and it gets easy not notice as the experiment slows down.

I really want to find this experimental mind again…and not to rip out that which I truly value (my future wife might be freaking out a little while reading this…), but certainly to risk that which i have passively come to accept as real or true.

I used to flee from complacency like it was the devil…these days I walk away from it deliberately like it’s someone i don’t care for…but there’s probably something in between that is a little more me…and i’m really going to try to reconnect with that. If you know me, please help me stay true to this goal.

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One Response to “Life is an experiment”

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Try substituting nuance for novelty.

Similar to you, I crave novelty, and trying to find that next thing. However walking away from what you’ve built isn’t something you’re interested in, and probably isn’t healthy. Instead of moving laterally, Angela Duckworth (author of “Grit”), suggest you try delving deeper into the things you think you already know and really understanding the nuance of them, instead of moving onto the next thing. I found that a helpful suggestion.


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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com

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