Deal With the Devil

The Paradox of Good Times: Simulated Greatness through Steroids

Deals with the devil were about getting good at something you were not good at. Now they’re about the devil picking individuals who are already exceptional in order to exploit their strengths.

Steroids zeitgeist

This sort of highlights the cultural and societal context in which these stories are created, reflecting a desire for a steroid type achievements or recognition. It’s fascinating to see how folklore and mythology adapt to reflect the values and concerns of different eras

The term “Steroid zeitgeist” is an interesting way to describe the modern shift in the concept of deals with the devil. It suggests that the contemporary portrayal of such deals emphasizes enhancing or amplifying existing strengths and abilities, similar to how steroids are used to enhance physical performance.

1. Good Times: A Product of Collective Progress

Good times are typically a result of collective efforts and favorable circumstances within a society. Economic growth, political stability, technological advancements, and social cohesion contribute to the overall well-being and prosperity experienced by individuals. During these periods, the zeitgeist fosters an environment of relative comfort and contentment.

While these times may not necessarily require the emergence of exceptional individuals, it is during such phases that some individuals turn to metaphorical “steroids” in an attempt to simulate greatness.

2. The Illusion of Greatness

In the midst of good times, there exists a desire among individuals to stand out, to be seen as exceptional or extraordinary. However, the need for greatness is often more apparent than its actual necessity. The availability of opportunities and the general favorable conditions may create an illusion of personal greatness being attainable without significant effort or talent.

In the fast-paced world of startups, there is immense pressure to achieve rapid growth, gain market dominance, and secure substantial valuations. This pressure can lead to a culture of “simulated greatness” within the VC ecosystem, where the focus shifts from building sustainable businesses to chasing hyper-growth at all costs.

3. The Appeal of Steroids

Simulated greatness, akin to the effects of steroids, becomes a tempting route for those seeking to enhance their abilities or achievements artificially. Just as performance-enhancing substances can artificially boost physical prowess, individuals may resort to shortcuts, deceit, or unethical means to attain success, recognition, or social status. This desire to simulate greatness arises from a combination of ambition, social pressure, and the fear of being left behind in a society experiencing good times.

Startups may be encouraged to prioritize superficial metrics, such as user acquisition or revenue growth, over long-term viability and profitability. This can create a distorted perception of success, where the appearance of greatness is simulated through exaggerated numbers or inflated valuations.

Just as the use of steroids can mask an athlete’s natural abilities, the reliance on excessive funding and aggressive growth strategies can sometimes mask the true potential and sustainability of a startup. The pursuit of simulated greatness can lead to an environment where appearances and hype overshadow the core fundamentals that drive long-term success.

4. The Dangers of Simulated Greatness

While the pursuit of simulated greatness may yield short-term benefits or fleeting moments of success, it ultimately undermines the integrity and authenticity of individual achievements. Moreover, relying on artificial means to achieve recognition or success erodes the moral fabric of society. This path, fueled by insecurity and a lack of genuine talent or skills, may lead to a culture of dishonesty, superficiality, and the devaluation of true excellence.

However, just as the use of steroids can have long-term detrimental effects on athletes’ health and the integrity of the sport, the reliance on ZIRP and artificially stimulated growth can lead to imbalances and distortions within the financial system. It may create asset bubbles, encourage excessive risk-taking, and ultimately undermine the stability and sustainability of the economy.

The connection between ZIRP, steroids, and simulated greatness highlights the need for caution and a holistic understanding of the potential consequences of short-term measures. It raises questions about the trade-offs between immediate gains and long-term stability, reminding us that true greatness, whether in sports or economics, requires a solid foundation built on natural abilities, sustainable practices, and a focus on the overall well-being of the system.

Drawing a parallel, ZIRP can be seen as the financial equivalent of steroids. It artificially enhances the performance of the economy, creating an illusion of prosperity and growth that may not be sustainable or reflective of underlying fundamentals. Just as steroids can mask the true abilities of athletes, ZIRP can mask the true health and resilience of an economy.

Simulated greatness, then, becomes the result of this connection. In both the world of sports and the realm of finance, we witness the potential for achievements that appear extraordinary on the surface but are based on artificial support. The underlying foundation, whether it’s an athlete’s natural abilities or an economy’s sound fundamentals, may be overshadowed or distorted by external influences.

5. Sustainable Greatness: Cultivating Authenticity and Genuine Achievement

Rather than resorting to simulated greatness, individuals in good times can channel their efforts towards personal growth, genuine skill development, and ethical practices. The cultivation of authenticity allows for the exploration of true potential, the pursuit of meaningful goals, and the creation of a lasting legacy. Genuine greatness arises from a combination of talent, dedication, and the ability to make a positive impact on society.


While good times do not inherently necessitate the emergence of exceptional individuals, the pursuit of simulated greatness often arises during periods of prosperity and stability. However, the allure of artificial enhancements can lead to the erosion of authenticity and ethical standards. Instead, individuals should embrace the opportunities of good times to cultivate their genuine abilities, make a positive impact, and contribute to the betterment of society. It is through authentic greatness that the true potential of individuals and the collective can be realized, creating a legacy that transcends the transient nature of good times.

In conclusion, the concept of simulated greatness extends beyond the domains of finance and sports and can also be observed within the world of venture capitalism. It serves as a reminder that true greatness, whether in startups or any other field, requires a balance between short-term achievements and long-term sustainability. By nurturing genuine innovation, fostering strong business fundamentals, and focusing on the holistic success of both companies and society, we can move beyond the allure of simulated greatness and towards a more authentic and impactful future.

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