Skill tree of Means
2 min read

Skill tree of Means

Means is another primary ability for the developer archetype. For Expertise, we introduced the idea of Major and Minor skills.

The Major skills for Means I originally proposed was Personal Finance and Creativity. I'm going to tweak these slightly to Funding and Scrappiness. The other one someone pointed out that I was searching for the right word for was Connections.

Funding ā€“ governs the effectiveness at acquiring and managing funding for your work

Scrappiness ā€“ governs the effectiveness of how you use means to achieve your goals

Connections ā€“ governs the effectiveness of your network to provide means of support

Now we can build in some Minor skills:

Skill tree of Means

The breakdown might look like this:

  • Funding: Money management and capital acquisition skills
  • Scrappiness: Self-awareness and experimentation skills
  • Connections: Networking and relationship-building skills

Remember that skills govern the effectiveness of the actions you take in the world.

Meaning: a high-level Funding skill does not mean you're wealthy, but more like... you are more likely to succeed at getting money when you need it. Your "net worth" is a separate value you track on your character sheet. When you cancel a subscription to save money, you did a money management check and succeeded.

Alright, so how does this check out? Me again with low-mid-high:

  • Funding: Mid. I have pretty good money management skills, thanks to understanding the financial independence framework. But I have low to zero "capital acquisition" skills. I've never dealt with venture money or business loans, and have only ever self-funded projects.
  • Scrappiness: High. I experiment a ton. Building a SaaS, making blogs, video production, courses, freelancing, the list goes on. And I've done it since I was a teenager. Self-awareness is "learning from past mistakes," self-reflection, and course-correcting. All of this lets me do more with less.
  • Connections: Mid. I do have a lot of "access" to people in big companies and through my network. That would allow me to find work pretty quickly if I needed it. I'd say my relationship-building needs work. The difference is quality vs. quantity.

It feels like these major/minor skills are measured or added up differently than Expertise was (based on past projects). Low-mid-high is easier to think about.

Why does this matter?

Well, depending on the archetype you're going for, you might be lacking in some areas.

If I was going for The Founder archetype, I might need to get familiar with venture capital funding or finding investors.

Simiarly, pretty much every archetype besides ones that keep you employed require mid-level money management skills. It will be hard to work for yourself without understanding more about taxes, budgeting, and simple accounting rules. The Early Retiree would require a high skill to deal with investment drawdown and cash flow.

And try being The Indie Hacker without being scrappy.


A bounty has been posted...
All I've seen are names on emails but can't put a face to them. They are just Faceless heads on the Black Slate.

List the skills and write down where you're at with each one (Low-Mid-High). This one is more about gut feeling and reflecting on your past than Expertise was.

Some possible prompts:

1. What would I do if I had to save up 3 months' worth of expenses?
2. Are there things I know don't work that I keep doing?
3. If I lost my job tomorrow, who could I reach out to for a new opportunity? 

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