My Unfair Advantage That You Don't Have

Published on Jan 17, 2019

I'm always working on a startup and I have been for the past 5 years. Often times, I get asked: what do I bring to the table that other people don't?

What's my unfair advantage?

My response is always video gaming.

I'm here to win. To elevate my allies and crush my enemies. And I'm doing it for the pursuit of the ultimate challenge and to keep pushing my own limits every day.

The level of competition I seek isn't a friendly match of ping pong. I seek something that I have no idea how to solve and I use video games to discover these challenges.

Startups take a while to realize results, so I use gaming to help practice while I grow my businesses. Competition is a primary driver that keeps my sanity in check and manages my emotion. It's not a need for adrenaline but an outlet where I can earn hard wins. I literally sweat during matches... sitting on a couch... for hours.

Here's why it matters.

Warning, there are several Fortnite references.

Pushing The Limits

Winning is hard, especially in an environment where there's a bunch of teenagers who play 24/7 and you only can practice a couple hours a day at best.

This is a great opportunity to keep trying to improve yourself in really constrained situations. If you're making a product, this probably sounds familiar.

Gaming forces me to be in a growth mindset. Either get more kills or win more games. In Solos, Duos, or Squads. No casual playlists. Sometimes some scrims over the weekend.

My K/D is awful but I use that as my metric to measure growth. I also aim for Tilted Towers or other hot drops so it's extra resistance against my K/D ratio.

Forced Humility

I try to record my gaming sessions as much as I can. Sometimes I live-stream my gameplay right after streaming a good React coding session.

Recording gameplay and playing in a lobby of competitive friends opens an opportunity to test your humility.

Sometimes you might dictate that everyone needs to go in a certain direction on the map, only to make the wrong mistake, and lose the game by the storm. You might say someone's behind you, but nobody is there, wasting everyone's effort to come to help you. Failure happens a lot in Fortnite.

Competitive gaming measures how well you respond to humility. 

The worst is when you miss a shot at a player who's standing still. Not moving at all. Then you try to take another shot, and forget to reload. While you're recording live.


This is important. 90% of startups fail and the ones that do succeed often had good timing or good fortune playing at their side.

Competitive video gaming allows you to experience this in two ways:

  1. Play Fortnite Solo's for the first 150 games and you will only win 1 or 2 matches at most.
  2. Win a game only by luck.

Now imagine playing for about 10 years of your life. Constantly experiencing heavy losses and lucky wins. Over time I've conditioned my mind to reduce losses and maximize on luck. 

This means training to improve strategy and in-game skill, all for the sake of increasing my luck factor.

This Is Stupid. You Could Be Making Money Instead Of Video Gaming.


But I've been doing this my whole life. I started playing StarCraft at age 11, with 240+ average APM, and ranking as Terran on PGTour (precursor to WCG in the early days). My accomplishments to show?

  • Self-taught coder
  • Self-taught marketer
  • Self-taught fundraiser
  • Self-taught seller
  • Self-taught statistician 
  • Self-taught trader
  • Self-taught designer

I've learned a lot and earned a lot more. There are even positive side effects for all those high-intensity keyboard actions from my childhood.

Competition is critical to my success and will be key to my startup growth. 

That's my unfair advantage. What's yours?


Want to play some Fortnite and play on an Xbox? Send a message to Mastuh Matt with a note about this article. If you liked this article, you can read more content like this on my Twitter account @Matt_Lo.