“Give me a firm place to stand and a lever and I can move the earth.” – Archimedes
If you are reading this you are likely no stranger to the concept of leverage in its digital context: using technology to amplify your effort.
Code, media, brand, capital — all forms of leverage that (if deployed with good judgement) can keep working after you stop working.
So who wouldn’t want leverage? The desire to get more from less is universal.
So why doesn’t everyone have leverage? Because the first part of the statement is harder to come by: finding (or building) a firm place to stand.
The physical, mechanical explanation makes perfect sense—you need to be standing on a firm surface to be able to apply force to the lever to move the thing.
Digitally, this concept is less intuitive — but you still need a firm place to “stand” in order to direct energy efficiently enough to move something.
Shifts in focus dilute your ability to apply that pressure, and reduce your ability to significantly move things.
For a mental image of this idea, you can imagine trying to apply downward pressure to many scattered levers at the same time with your two hands.
In summary, leverage is as much about where you are standing as how much force you are applying.