The Equal-Odds Rule: Massive Effort, Occasional Success

If you want to make things that are amazing – things that become successful and well-known – then you have to make a lot of things.

That’s the takeaway for any success-minded person who hears of the Equal Odds rule, which essentially states:

“The average publication of any particular scientist does not have any statistically different chance of having more of an impact than any other scientist’s average publication.”

What this means is that scientists who do publish very significant things also publish things that go unnoticed – and this is because they publish lots of things.

This rule, I believe, applies to anyone who does creative work as well. Sometimes the things you make will suck or be ignored. Most of the time, they’ll get average exposure, or you’ll feel they’re of average quality.

Occasionally, though, you’ll drop a golden egg. The more work you do, the more often these golden eggs will come.

My own YouTube page provides a pretty good example of this rule. Take a look:

My YouTube Videos

Since starting my commitment to make regular videos with Gaining Momentum near the bottom until right before this video, I’ve made 13 videos. That’s over the course of about three months.

The view counts offer up a pretty good demonstration of the Equal Odds rule; most of my videos have an “average” amount of views. A couple of them did worse than average.

One video, however, did massively well compared to the rest. That’s the one on how to get over the “I don’t feel like it” mindset, and as of this writing it’s been watched over 78,000 times.

Here’s the thing, though – I would have never made that video if I had not committed to making videos regularly. I had to make all those other ones – average and poor alike – to get to the point where I’d make one that was a hit.

That’s the gist of the Equal Odds rule – for more, check out the video!

If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.

Video Notes

  • Check out Sebastian Marshall’s post on the Equal Odds rule – it was the my inspiration for making this video (and his entire blog is pretty amazing as well)
  • Here’s the Amazon book review that contains the quote about the rule I read in the video

I’ll be making a video next week on how to get massive amounts of work done on a regular basis, but I already told you one of the strategies: stick to a schedule. Doing this helps you to limit your choices when you’re in Doing/Robot mode, which cuts down on procrastination.

An easy way to do this is by using HabitRPG, and you can join the CIG guild for even more motivation.

If you liked this video, subscribe on YouTube to stay updated and get notified when new ones are out!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

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