What’s your EDC?

Supported by Greenhaven Road Capital, finding value off the beaten path.

Decision making is full of analogies. A latticework of mental models, the two-jar model, the urn of uncertainty. Today we’ll introduce another, the everyday carry (EDC). 

Like the other models, EDC has multiple dimensions. The inspiration for this idea comes from Marc Andreessen’s answer to Tyler Cowen about what television shows he recommends:

“The conceit of the show (Burn Notice) was that this spy had every conceivable skill. He could make explosives out of bleach or disarm someone with a mop handle. Whatever circumstance he was in, he had the skill. Basically I look at him and I think, that’s a good founder. A good founder has to have every conceivable skill.”

Good founders can work in product, marketing, finance, legal, and human resources. The list, Andreessen said, “goes on and on and on and there is no substitute for these things.”

EDC is an internet subculture. Often an EDC includes a flashlight, wallet, watch, and a multitool. Sometimes there are handguns, knives, and lighters. Their motto might be, *better have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.*

In every EDC there is money and money is a great tool because it’s immediate. Order and pay.

What’s lost with quick-payment is interesting-learning. [Michael Lombardi](https://amzn.to/2D3kELw) wrote about this, “If copycatting were a useful shortcut to success, there would be Bagasse-Style restaurant in every city and San Francisco 49er clones in every football stadium.”

Casey Neistat noted this too in “Being RICH vs being POOR – a video essay.” Money solves all the immediate first-order needs like shelter, food, and bills but money won’t solve for the conditions that led to those predicaments. 

That’s where the EDC comes in. As Stephen Soderbergh said when questioned about filming with an iPhone, “if you don’t know where the camera should go, it doesn’t matter what you’re shooting on.” Ditto for using a wheelchair. 


This is what Andreessen is getting at. Money will only get a person or a business so far because what’s really important is the know-how of the EDC. 

The EDC approach is the heart of sabermetrics in baseball. Wins and payroll are weakly correlated. Rather than the wallet, teams reach for the tool. The Direct To Consumer revolution is filled with products that demonstrate the tool of ‘talking to your customers about what job they’re hiring for’. Large organizations could have spun up Edible Arrangements, Harry’s Razors, Instagram, Rent The Runway and so on but they didn’t. 

The EDC is there and ready. Are you?

Thanks for reading. 

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