II Fastlane


Explained: The II Fastlane is the idea that 'inverse incentives' will often provide a gateway to fast progression within any given industry.


  1. In advertising, simple, visually clever ideas often win the most awards, and hence lead to faster career progression and higher salaries regardless of effectiveness. Also, certain types of media require larger budgets and hence make agencies more money. Both of these motivations are counter intuitive to for clients but show how someone may game the system.
  2. In the scientific community, 'novelty' plays a large part in deciding if a paper gets published which is a major factor in the success of scientists. This incentivises scientists to partake in studies which have a higher novelty value than usefulness, and in some circumstances, even encourages scientists to falsify results for the purpose of publishing and public notoriety. 
  3. In boxing, weight is a huge factor in the likelihood that you will win a fight. This creates an inverse incentive for people to get good at rapidly cutting weight before a fight, only to put it back on prior to fighting. This has lead to a number of people becoming champion, not whole based on skill but their ability to game the weight rules.

Recommended Action: Inverse incentives often identify areas where an industry can be gamed for fast progression, but it is also provides fertile ground for being able to learn the ins and outs of a given field quickly and properly should honest legitimacy be your aspiration.

Ricky Richards