Skateboarder Tony Hawk landed a 900 – two and a half spins – at the 1999 X Games. It was the biggest achievement the sport had ever seen, the equivalent of the four-minute mile.
It catapulted Hawk into legend status. His video game came out a year later and sold 30 million copies. Six Flags named a rollercoaster after him.
Fifteen years later, an eight-year-old landed a 900. Hawk was also the first person to land a 720 (two spins) – a feat later accomplished by a second-grader.
A lot of sports work like that. One person raises the bar over what previously seemed impossible, and that becomes the baseline for a new generation to build upon.
Same with technology, business, and investment knowledge. One generation builds on the impossible feats of the previous one. It’s like compound interest.
A fifth-grader recently landed a 1080 – three spins, unthinkable in Hawk’s day. Asked what he thought of the achievement, Hawk replied: “It represents everything I love about skateboarding: constant evolution.”
A statement you can apply to just about any field.