The Eponymous Principles of Management : The Murphy’s Law and Its Variants – The Peter’s Law(s) – The Core at the ‘Persistent and Passionate’ Problem-solving Mind

Peter’s Laws are adages that came in as good help to Peter Diamandis[1], when he was covered with mundane difficulties.

The creator of Peter’s Laws, Peter Diamandis is successful orator while also being a well-known entrepreneur and a capable author. Among several of his known and successful ventures is X Prize Foundation which offers attractive prize money for innovative solutions in the fields of space flights, less expensive, mobile medical devices, cleaning of oil spills, etc. He is also chairman of Singularity University which specializes in academic programs for rapidly developing technologies. Peter Diamandis is also credited with the best-selling The Exponential Mindset Trilogy – Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think[2], Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World[3]. and The Future is Faster Than You Think[4]

We will briefly explore the origin of the Peter’s Law and the commentary on some other laws with the help of Peter Diamandis’ blogpost How You Can Use Peter’s Laws

What is now fondly known as Peter’s Law – “If anything can go wrong, fix it!’ – came into being more in the reactive mood of To Hell with Murphy’s Law! From thereon it was “simply a matter of noticing what” he believed in. “Creating, borrowing, modifying those core “have served him very well and made Peter Diamandis a firm believer in ‘The best way to predict future is to create it yourself’.  At a very fundamental level, this is exactly what it means to be an entrepreneur. Have a vision for tomorrow and pull yourself toward it.

Like all other human being, being hardwired to face challenges has also made Peter Diamandis an ardent follower of the adage, that in order to stay alive we have to become alive. That can be made a reality if you practice ‘When faced without a challenge, create one’. He well supports this hypothesis with a study published in British Medical Journal that those who retired at 65 lived more than those who retired at 55. Peter Diamandis infers that the state of optimal human performance shows up only outside of our comfort zone, when we are pushing limits and using our skills to the utmost.

It is also almost universally observed that we are also, generally, trained in making one choice between the two options. However, there are enough illustrations like Steve Jobs or Lan Musk or Richard Bronson, to show that by working with more than choice if implemented optimally and with due care and diligence, can help accelerate the rate of growth and breadth of your network of people as well as that of the resources such that sum parts can well exceed the whole. Thus, it makes sense When given a choice- take both.

The more you know about anything more yo become aware of the related pros and cons.  As you tend to reach the level of expertise on that subject, you tend to see that thing in so greater details that you tend to believe that matter is so complex that it is beyond the reach of any average person. So when you explain that average person, or even another expert, you tend to emphasise the cons, probably on the assumption that by emphasizing the negatives you make it easier for the other person to understand the potential pitfalls of doing that thing. As result, that common person forms an opinion that an expert is someone who can tell you how something cannot be done.

Henry Ford has a very interesting take on ‘an expert’. When asked about his employees, he had, so tellingly, said –

“None of our men are ‘experts.’ We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job. A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the ‘expert’ state of mind a great number of things become impossible.”

Whether among animals or among human beings, any one who happens to be (even slightly) different than the group, that one is usually gets ostracized, and even likely to be subjected to the treatment due to something that is ridiculous. As Burt Rutan who went onto win the $10 million prise money, after eight years from the first rejection, for his brilliant SpaceShipOne project, says, “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.”, In more common, colloquial, words:

On a similar note, here is the (final) list of 31 Peter’s Laws:

Peter’s Laws: The Creed of the Persistent and Passionate mind

(circa July 2011)

  1. If anything can go wrong, Fix It!!… to hell with Murphy!
  2. When given a choice…  take both!!
  3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
  4. Start at the top then work your way up.
  5. Do it by the book … but be the author!
  6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.
  7. If it’s worth doing, it’s got to be done right now.
  8. If you can’t win, change the rules.
  9. If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.
  10. Perfection is not optional.
  11. When faced without a challenge, make one.
  12. “No” simply means begin again at one level higher.
  13. Don’t walk when you can run.
  14. Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary.
  15. When in doubt: THINK!
  16. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.
  17. The squeaky wheel gets replaced.
  18. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
  19. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!
  20. The ratio of something to nothing is infinite.
  21. You get what you incentivize.
  22. If you think it is impossible, then it is… for you.
  23. An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how it can’t be done.
  24. The day before something is a breakthrough it’s a crazy idea.
  25. If it were easy it would have been done already.
  26. Without a target you’ll miss it every time.
  27. Bullshit walks, hardware talks.
  28. A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.
  29. The world’s most precious resource is the passionate and committed human mind.
  30. Fail early, fail often!
  31. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

Copyright, 1986, 2009, Peter H. Diamandis, All Rights Reserved.  Laws # 14 & #18 by Todd B. Hawley.  #19 Adopted from Alan Kay.

[1] My Name is Peter Diamandis

[2] Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler on Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think!

[3] How to Think Bigger: Thinking Big and Bold | Peter Diamandis

[4] Peter H. Diamandis: The Future is Faster Than You Think