Plant lots of small seeds while you can

A big company recently reached out to me about working together. We get plenty of inbound interest at, but this was an exceptionally big name in our space.

It was unexpected, but I realized that a bit of writing I did last year planted a seed that eventually led to this huge opportunity. I didn't go into the previous blog posts thinking anything bigger would ever come of them, but I said "yes" to a lot of things when I was just getting started.

Similarly, another founder reached out to me last week about a big partnership based on something I wrote years ago. There was no way I could have anticipated how a single piece of writing would turn into thousands of dollars, but it did.

My point is that if you're thinking you might start a business someday, one of the best things you can do to prepare is to plant lots of small seeds.

For some of you, that might mean taking meetings and building relationships.

For others, that might mean writing articles or making YouTube videos.

And for others, it might mean building small side projects or doing freelance work.

All of these small, low-risk activities actually serve to raise your "luck surface area". Of course, I'm not the first person to notice this phenomenon. Jason Roberts describes it this way:

"The amount of serendipity that will occur in your life, your Luck Surface Area, is directly proportional to the degree to which you do something you're passionate about combined with the total number of people to whom this is effectively communicated."

Someone else recently asked me about the value of graduate school for entrepreneurs. On one hand, connections from a top-tier school can enable you to raise money, hire people, and build high-leverage relationships faster than you could on your own.

On the other hand, spending 2-3 years with your nose in a book will absolutely not increase your luck surface area.

So whether you're a student who's getting ready to graduate, you're early in your career and not sure where things will lead, or you're locked into a career ladder with a clear next step, take some time to plant seeds on the side. You never know what opportunities they will unlock.

Karl Hughes


Software Engineering