The Black Swan: Go read it


If you’re a person who likes questioning conventional wisdom, do yourself a favor and read The Black Swan. In short, the point of the book is that unforeseen events with wide-ranging effects render most forms of prediction useless. (Examples include 9/11, the Enron scandal, and the subprime mortgage crisis.)

I’ve noticed that people in business who make bold statements about where their company or product will be a year from now are often wrong and never held accountable for these statements. The Black Swan calls out economists and other sorts of professional “predictors” in this same way.

Warning: the author is a bit of a bombastic windbag. But that doesn’t mean his theories are necessarily off base.


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