5 laws of Success – Book Recomendation

What is the secret to success is it just hard work or is there a formula we can apply?

The author Albert-László Barabási a network scientist 👨‍🔬 during one of his research projects decided to use his science 🧪 based research approach to determine what makes some individuals successful. He wanted to answer was it their performance, talent luck or something else?

He compiled all that research into a book called The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success.

The main key 🔑 point

Success is defined by the network and performance or hard work is not a good metric of success. It’s Networks visible or invisible that determine success. Scientist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi says the secret to getting ahead is to build a strong network.

The 5 Laws

  1. When performance can’t be measured. The network determine the success
  2. Performance is bounded but success is unbounded
  3. previous Success x Fitness = future success (Success breeds more success with quality)
  4. While Team success reuqires diversity and balance, One person will receive the credit for the group’s achievement.
  5. With Persistence Success can come at anytime.


The First law: Performances drive success but when performance can’t be measured, networks drive success

  • No one remembers Rene Fonck but everyone knows the Red Baron. Thats because the netoworks around his story determine his fame and success.
  • When performs reaches it peak the network will determine ones success. (It reminds me about your network is your net worth something talked on in entrepreneur circles.)
  • Schools choices does it affect future success? Based on research its doen’t matter. Ivy leagues were compared to regular school graduates.  (Princeton study on return of earnings…)
  • if you are a high acheiver meaning you need performance and ambition to work in tandem to determin your future career success.
  • When performance can be measured like sports it can determine success to a certain degree.
  • but when Performance can’t be measured, it is the networks that determine the success. In the art world is hard to measure performance. So it’s the invisible networks that will determine success of a piece.

Second Law: performance is bounded but success is unbounded.

  • Power laws tells us about how superstars will reap more rewards than others. Think Tiger Woods or Famous authors like Dan Brown.
  • The superstar effect performance is bounded. They are just human
  • The Davids of the world have a chance at success.

Third Law: Previous Success x Fitness = Future Success

  • Exploding Kittens Kickstarter success. Was due to network performance.
  • Why some campaigns succeeded?
  • Success breeds success it snowballs. The oatmeal build his audince overtime so when he launched the Kicstarter Exploding Kittens it was a success.
  • People have preferential attachment so if you have previous sucess you have chances of future sucess with your current audience
  • That’s why only a few websites are big like Google, Facebook and Amazon, a few are super rich or why there is a top those with more education resources can get better at literacy.
  • Fitness is similar to quality.
  • Success is a catch 22 when you get started how to get that experience when you have none.

Fourth Law: Diversity needed but only 1 person in the group will received the

  • Group diversity is needed for certain ventures

Fifth Law: With Persistence Success can come at anytime.

  • If you keep persisting in the industry you may have a higher chance of success.

My thoughts:

I feel whatever new venture I want to do it needs to be recognized by the network, that is if I want it to be a success. This however can’t be determined unless you can influence a whole lot of people. But one example is the Card Game Exploding Kittens which gained a lot of popularity due to Matthew Inman’s long standing witty and funny comic Blog The Oatmeal. Which is a Good Example of one persisting long enough to see it which means doubling down and focusing.

If you enjoyed this post do pick up a copy at Amazon Kindle.




Podcast #521: The 5 Universal Laws of Success

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