The Gods fighting with monsters There are giant entrepreneurs like Gates, Jobs, Musk that take risks. The mere mortals like us aren’t successful entrepreneurs because we’re risk averse. We are used to take it easy, measuring each option and gradually move step by step.

In the end they take risks because they have good, reliable safety nets. In worst case situation they know that it can’t be that bad. They can trade an survivable event for bigger rewards and acievements.

Needs and Safety Nets for them

Some people have safety nets on lodging, water, food, sleep. Others have better safety nets: they have a comfortable house, a comfortable passive income (why do the retired persons don’t take risks anymore?). Maslow came up with a sensible hierarchy of needs and according to these needs you have various safety nets: physiological safety net, safety safety net (sic!), love and belonging safety net, eestem safety net, self-actualization safety net, self-transcedence safety net.

If a person wrote a novel or discovered the relativity theory it got a good reliable Esteem Safety Net. Whatever it discoveres (or not) in the future, in worst case, he will not be in need for esteem. This net will enable Einstein to pursue line of thoughts/theories that others cannot because they must prove themself worthy before this.

About unconditional love I can say is a nice safety net for love and belonging need. And it works for long term partnerships: relation, parent-child, brothers-sisters. If is enabled the person can pursue higher goals and take more risks on the “love and belonging” related activities. It could become a Jobs of the relationships: a kind of a Dalai Lama or maybe Don Juan (#dontknowyet)?

Safety Net Timespan

There is something more on safety nets than a simple satisfaction of needs. A safety net should save your life in a worst case scenarion so it must be there for a long term, idealy for life. You cannot say, “thanks god I had a safety net for that day with my botle of water from the knapsack”. In that case you with luck you escaped but on the long term you’re doomed to fail. You’re saved if you have a strategy or a system that will save for most cases.

A safety net is a long term strategic way to satisfy a need. It is a long term solution that gives psychological confort and lower the ball for assuming risks. The safety net satisfies a rationalized need: “In the worse case scenario, my x,y,z need will be satisfied till the end of my life”. It’s a form of waranty/assurance. There are several patterns related to the safety nets:

Struggled Life - No assurance

There are communities that don't get any assurances. Usually are the states with a low life 
expectancy. Everyday is a struggle because every action might not be bearable. Of course by
anyone other standards they are very risk averse.

Assured Destruction

This situation might look like the previous but the risk averse behaviour transforms in a risk taking
behavior because there is nothing to loose. in this case the safety net is given by the "anyway I will
die, it cannot go worse than that". This makes a good case for a Minimum Waranted Income. That
will transform the Assured Destruction and No Assurance (behaviours easily swappable) in a Stable
Surviving Situation

Stable Surviving Situation

This behaviour could be enabled by a Minimum Waranted Income. In this case you will know that 
in any circumstance your live will not end abruptly in misery and/or abuse. You will have your
primary needs satisfied.

Stable Income

There are ways to get a stable income: renta, renting, stable job, stable contracts. A stable income

  • might ensure a short term lodging/water/food/sleep safety net
  • might ensure a lifespan lodging/water/food/sleep safety net if pension is paid in a stable state

Non Stable Income

It’s simmilar with the previous situation but since is not stable it cannot be counted as a strategy. So is not an actual safety net.

Buying assurances

You can buy Safety Nets on various aspects of your life. With these the worse case scenario is still ok:

- health - accidents - cronic issues - expensive ills - accidents - cars - apartments - processes - education - life assurance

Lifetime lodggining

Lifetime utilities paid


  • Worse case scenario for Gates, Jobs, Musk would have been Esteem: they had a rich enough family to support their needs in case they couldn’t earn a dime.

  • A person that is concerned by putting a bread on the table would be much more risk averse since in the worst case scenario she doesn’t have a safety net.


  1. A safety net is a long term strategic way to satisfy a need.
  2. A safety net is an enabler of risk taking that could bring bigger acievements and rewards
  3. Play the game on ^SafetyNets and not on ^ConfortGathering neither ^Consumerism

Connected Concepts: ToClarify

  • negociation and risk
  • circus artists
  • second best option, plan B
  • retired persons don’t take risks?
  • going to restaurants/vacations/night clubs/escourt/massage when you’re young
  • first timers in other cities/…
  • people with low expectations are not so stressed because they accepted the safety net.
  • dincolo de consumerism: towards a safety net stepped approach
  • hamburgers to quantify lifetime reserves

Fighting your safety net Where needs end and confort starts? Where is the luxury border?


  • Articles by Guy Standing

    • Summary in freemind

      The 5 biggest lies of global capitalism
          new classes
              elite / plutocracy
                  employment security
                  paid holidays
                  medical leave
                  not seeking employment security
                  making money
                  endangered by burn out
                  unions worked
                  not to be wished
                  no occupational identity or narrative
                  existenttial insecurity
                  lives in debt - a systemic form of rental extraction
                  poverty traps
                      out of control of time
                      realations of distribution
                          money wages
                          no benefits
                      distinctive relations to the state
              The Precariat
                  Guy Standing
              A Precariat Charter
      There is also strong psychological evidence that people with basic economic security have greater "mental bandwidth" for reasoned and long-term decision making, are more likely to be tolerant and altruistic towards others, and work harder, more productively and more cooperatively.

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