Learning from the Midwit Curve: The Majority is Usually Wrong

Marvin Liao
2 min readMay 16, 2024

There is the funny Midwit Curve we’ve all seen before on X formerly known as Twitter.

I especially like this one: https://twitter.com/lawrencekingyo/status/1686004413666607104/photo/1

It’s a bell shaped curve where the majority is in the middle. Most people are “Midwits” in some form or other. But that is usually not where excellence or innovation happens. It’s the people at the edges that actually make sense or are right.

As Codie Sanchez says: “Excellence comes from deviance.” Reality is that the results are very binary as you will either be really right! Or really, really wrong. And that’s okay. As I’ve learned in venture capital, when you are right, it more than makes up for the loss.

When something seems stupid, unbelievable, too obvious or even like a conspiracy theory you might be onto something. Everything that was a major company now was laughed at in the early days. Companies we all know of like AirBnB or Stripe or Carta.

All my best investments were non-obvious and contentious. It’s why the billionaire investor Peter Thiel asks the question: “What revolutionary truth do you know that no one else agrees with?” Basically, what is your secret? It helps you surface overlooked ideas, beliefs or insights. Things that are not commonly known or understood by the mainstream yet. This is your edge.

As Mark Twain famously said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

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Marvin Liao

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything! www.marvinliao.com