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What is the Law of the Lever?

What is the Law of the Lever?

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

- Archimedes


The Law of the Lever

A lever is a beam connected to the ground by a fulcrum, a hinge, or a pivot.


It doesn’t store energy, and as a result, there’s no friction in the hinge or bending in the beam. The power of the lever depends on how far from the fulcrum we’re able to apply force.


This is the law of the lever. Using geometry, the Greek mathematician Archimedes proved it in the 3rd century BC.


More output with less input. When we talk about leverage, that’s what we’re talking about.


Here’s what investor / entrepreneur / philosopher Naval Ravikant has to say about leverage:

"Humans evolved in societies where there was no leverage. If I was chopping wood or carrying water for you, you knew eight hours put in would be equal to about eight hours of output. Now we've invented leverage... As a worker, you want to be as leveraged as possible so you have a huge impact without as much time or physical effort.


A leveraged worker can out-produce a non-leveraged worker by a factor of one thousand or ten thousand. With a leveraged worker, judgment is far more important than how much time they put in or how hard they work.


For example, a good software engineer, just by writing the right little piece of code and creating the right little application, can literally create half a billion dollars' worth of value for a company. But ten engineers working ten times as hard, just because they choose the wrong model, the wrong product, wrote it the wrong way, or put it in the wrong viral loop, have basically wasted their time. Inputs don't match outputs, especially for leveraged workers.


What you want in life is to be in control of your time. You want to get into a leveraged job where you control your time and you're tracked on outputs."

Source: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

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