Throughout human history, the ability to create value has always been extremely important. As a result, society has advanced tremendously from the inventions and innovations from people who saw the world a bit differently than everyone else. And those who have changed the world have often been greatly rewarded. Leveraging innovation, we have continuously improved our ability to create not just locally but globally. This increased capability and impact means that learning to understand technology is a modern day life hack that helps those who are willing to invest the time to ultimately be more successful in life.
In order to really push the boundaries in anything, you must understand how it works. Investors who manage wealth or their own individual portfolios have a deep understanding about what types of companies that will invest in. Sports players who make it to the professional leagues are not just gifted athletically but they also have a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful at the highest levels. In fact, you can take any example from finance to engineering and you find that innovation and success comes from a deep understanding of a chosen discipline.
For those who really are clear on how systems work are typically able to make above average earnings. In investing, you have people like Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger. In technology, you have people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
These game changers really studied their disciplines and then were able to hack their way to success. This isn’t hacking that is going to land them in jail because they took advantage of their knowledge in an unethical way. Instead, this is truly understanding the core principles of value creation within a chosen discipline. Bill Gates had a core knowledge of technology and how people would want an operating system to make sense of the coming wave of new inventions. Warren Buffet understood that companies that were able to generate free cash flow more efficiently than others would make a great investment if he could buy them at the right price.
The key difference in all of these examples is that now technology is at the foundation of each and every industry. Finance professionals can use high frequency trading to generate alpha in their investment portfolios. Sports executives use data and analytics to inform player selections and strategies. In reality, every industry and position is now fundamentally in the realm of technology.
For the current and future generations, there is going to be nothing more useful than understanding technology deeply. There will be some people that develop a cursory understanding of how technology works. They may read a magazine article on how wireless signals work for cellular phone and Wi-Fi. Or, they may study how the sensors work for self-driving vehicles. Or, they may be fascinated by virtual reality and begin to develop a rudimentary sense of how these alternate realities work.
But, there are going to be others who will not simply stop at a high level understanding of technology. There will be a large number of people who really dive deep into current and developing technologies to understand what is really going on and what these new inventions could create.
This advanced study into technology and computation will set them up for a lifetime of success because once you fundamentally understand a system, you can take that knowledge one step further into the realm of value creation.
As people move from simply content consumers to creators, a whole new world of possibilities are unlocked. So, when you’re looking for ways to give your kids advantage, think about what it would mean to enable them to understand the core operating system of the next generation and then be able to apply that knowledge to make the world a better place. In this way, learning technology at a deep level is the ultimate life hack.