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To Get Good, Go After The Metagame

Artificial Intelligence
the Nanyang Technological University
Judo —
the International Judo Federation
Hacker News
useful).James Stuber

Henry Singleton
William Thorndike
Jack Welch
Warren Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway
Michael Milken
Tobi Lutke



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Positivity     45.00%   
   Negativity   55.00%
The New York Times
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This makes MtG a game of two levels: the first game is the game you’re playing when you sit down and shuffle cards to battle an opponent; the second game is the race to acquire, analyse and adapt to new cards quicker than your competition.Metagames like MtG’s also exist in, erm, more physical games. But the optimal strategy in Splendor will continue to shift back and forth as a hybrid of the two strategies, depending on the player mix and the changing preferences of the players within your gaming group.As it is with games, so it is with life.Every sufficiently interesting domain in the world has a meta associated with it.Like simpler games, real-world metas come in roughly two flavours: ones that are defined by external changes to the rules of a game, and ones that are shaped by a dynamic equilibrium of competition within a stable system of play. The quicker they identify new channels and the longer they keep their playbooks secret, the better the marketing game becomes for them.In this way marketing’s meta is much like MtG’s.Business also has a meta. The meta changes yet again in response to macro conditions — and on it goes.What is interesting about the meta is that metagames can only be played if you have mastered the basics of the domain. You cannot identify winning strategies in MtG if you don’t do well in current MtG; you cannot adapt old techniques to new rules if you don’t already have effective techniques for competitive Judo.What is true in sports is also true in real world domains like marketing and business; it is true even if you are aware of the meta’s existence. Even if I can’t yet participate, searching for the metagame that experts play will usually give me hints as to what skills I must acquire in order to become good enough.An example suffices: in marketing, I have found it very useful to seek out articles or podcasts (but especially podcasts) where practitioners talk about the ways their best practices have changed: “In the past I did X and now it seems it doesn’t work as well, so now we do Y, and I recommend Y.” This tells me that:More concretely, this is something like a podcast guest saying:“In the past (for content marketing) I did roundup posts, but these don’t seem to work as well anymore. But studying the state of the metagame as it is right now often tells me what I must learn in order to get to that point.(This is, by the way, where my self-grading comes from — I look to the marketers who are playing at the edge of the meta, and I rate myself a C+ in comparison. I think the best way to do so is to get good at a single, well-structured skill … and preferably, to get this experience as early as possible in one’s life.I’ve noticed that the ‘feel’ of improving in pursuit of a meta is strangely similar across skill trees. Our experiences bear this out.(Related: Tobi Lutke offers former pro StarCraft player a job at Shopify; this fun piece then analyses Lutke’s strategy as CEO of Shopify through the lens of StarCraft, although it’s clear that the author doesn’t grok StarCraft’s meta at all).My cousin and I both want our kids — when we have them — to get good enough to play in a metagame for one skill, any skill, in whatever game strikes their fancy.

As said here by Cedric Chin