There are numerous concepts out there claiming they would help guiding you to success. However, there is only one concept you’ll truly have to master. And that is navigating along the asshole-curve. The concept is quite simple. A certain level of success, say S1, can be achieved by combining different levels of skill and asshole-ness and all combinations of skill and asshole-ness leading to the same level of success form an iso-success curve. So let’s assume John is able to achieve success level S1 with a certain level of skill K1 and a certain level of asshole-ness A1. Now suppose you are only able to operate at skill level K2, lower than K1. To achieve the same level of success you will have to be a slightly bigger asshole than John. Of course this statement is fairly conceptual. In practice there are many ways how you can be a bigger asshole. You can share less knowledge with your colleagues, you can openly expose errors of your colleagues, but finally it is left up to you what asshole strategy suits you most. By increasing your asshole-ness you can even achieve higher levels of success than John. You’ll have to be careful, though, because if you are too big of an asshole you will eventually hit lower level success curve again. The mechanism behind this phenomenon is fairly simple, too. If you are too big of an asshole you will be recognized as such by your colleagues and they will start to cut you off from their network and support. So what you should learn from this is that for every level of skill there is a corresponding level of asshole-ness which maximizes your success. And so the key to success is mainly to find the optimal level of asshole-ness given your skills. We also refer to it as mastering the asshole curve.
The Asshole Curve