Field Note #123. On "Leverage Points + Edge"

Source: Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems (2008), Chapter 6

The Context.

Someone asked me yesterday upon scanning my static resume-style profile--white shoe restructuring attorney to M&A banker to hedge fund, special sits, blah blah-- "how in the world did you enter into crypto/web3/etc.?" (paraphr.)

That was the wrong question.  How could I not end up here?

I've been meditating as a practitioner on the notion of investment edge.  

"Where is the edge?"  "Am I confident I have it?"  "How can I know when I've lost it?"  

A series of cascading questions... Sometimes, all of these seem like vexing koans.

But here, behold, THE "timeless" investment edge contained in this pithy sentence by Donella "Dana" Meadows:

"A system that can evolve can survive almost any change, by changing itself." (p. 159, emphasis added).

And, that's why I'm here.

The Main Ideas.

Meadows goes on to expound upon varying types of leverage points.  Twelve to be precise.

  1. Transcend paradigms
  2. Change the paradigm
  3. Change system goals
  4. Allow self-organization
  5. Change system rules
  6. Augment info flows
  7. Reinforce feedbacks
  8. Strengthen balancing loops
  9. Create delays
  10. Intervene in (often physical) stock+flow structures
  11. Add buffers
  12. Change parameters

The Details.

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