Squad

Squad game is a positive-sum game, squid game; zero-sum game.

Hello 👋 and welcome to another issue of this newsletter. To the new subscribers, it’s nice to have you here.

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In a previous issue, I asked some questions about friendship, which seemed interesting. I think I found more questions that would honestly examine how we think of friendship. 

Is friendship a means to an end, or is it an end in itself?

Are people on the internet (social media) considered friends?

Now to this week’s topic, community.

Community in this writing is synonymous with squad or gang.

For thousands of years, humans lived in small groups, tribes, or gangs. Industrialization turned it on its head. It liberated us and weakened the ties we had with our family/tribe members. We’ve been atomized and celebrated individualism. Now, we know better.

 “Squad culture is the antithesis of neoliberal individualism.”

If friendship is has a 1:1 relationship, a squad is n[(n-1)/2] where n is the squad number. This formula is a case of the network effect, which is characterized by Metcalfe’s law1.

Two people can make only one connection, five can make 10 connections, and twelve can make 66 connections.

This means that the greater the number of people in your squad, the higher the benefit. At the same time, this is true up to an extent before you start to experience diminishing returns.

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With this, we understand that bigger isn’t always better. So how do we solve for that?

Curation.

A well-curated squad not only makes it easier for you to “network,” but it also has more benefits than a super-large network with a different value and belief system than yours. 

A squad, in its essence, is neither about me nor you. It is about us, the group. Its size is usually not more than 12. turning the Dunbar number2 on its head

Not too small to not have any tangible effect, and not too big to be a Facebook group. Just a handful of friends, enough to play Fortnite games, PUBG, or Call of Duty.

Leverage of Squads

The most accessible place to see how squads, benefits outway friends or single individuals is in the financial world; investing. 

Some deals/ investments aren’t accessible to individuals (due to lack of capital). With your squad, you get to access those investments and share the profit or loss. 

When friends start businesses, the squad takes part in funding and owns a piece of the pie. The more, the merrier. The path to squad wealth is paved.

Taking a step further, the squad can complement each other’s skills. While we can’t always have the same skills, complementary skills make the squad work and achieve faster and exponentially produce more.

Squad game is a positive-sum game, squid game, zero-sum game.

What makes a squad?

Some features/ criteria

Same value and belief system: Oil and water don’t mix. Different values and beliefs bring tension and conflicts. See Twitter for more.

Trust: This is key; we are too informal in the squad to start writing contracts. There are implicit rules/agreements, though. You get it once you are in the squad, no need to express it explicitly.

Insider jokes/ communication: IFYKYK. You don’t get it; forget about it.

Small size: Too many people, personal agenda begins to brew.

Boundary & cohesion: Not everybody can be in your squad. If you are in all squads, best believe you aren’t in any.

Vibes: Self-explanatory

This wraps it up for this week. Thank you for reading and see you next week Sunday.

1

There have been several modifications to this rule; however, it is used for the sake of simplicity.

2

The Dunbar number is the number of people a person can keep track of and maintain stable relationships. It is approximately 150 people. Based on an experiment before the advent of social media, so take it with a pinch of salt.