The Omnipresence of Optionality

“Optionality is the property of asymmetric upside (preferably unlimited) with correspondingly limited downside (preferably tiny).”

Reading Antifragile has changed my outlook on many, many things – but the idea of optionality especially has been cropping up in unexpected places. Here, watch this highlight reel:

One thing almost all of these outstanding plays have in common? Besides outstanding athleticism and an egg-shaped ball, all of these scoring opportunities are notably opportunities gained through optionality: with the exception of the very first play, all of these tries were scored by players who not only positioned themselves to have a number of options, they also executed those options wisely.

In Taleb’s terms, they were able to create a situation with a huge opportunity for upside (gaining points) and very little exposure to a downside, since they were well-supported by multiple team mates at any given time.

When he said “Optionality can be found everywhere if you know how to look,” I wasn’t expecting to find it on the rugby pitch!

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