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Good Luck: Why the Year's Best Business Book Says You'll Probably Need It - Forbes

Good Luck Why the Year s Best Business Book Says You ll Probably Need It Forbes


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great summary of luck

"A common mistake, Mauboussin points out, is evaluating the wisdom of a strategy by the outcome generated, since due to the powerful effect of luck, bad strategy can still lead to good outcomes, and good strategy can result in bad outcomes."

Mauboussin touches upon the work of Taleb (randomness and black swans), Tetlock (expert fallacy), Rosenzweig (importance of negative evidence), Gladwell (especially the concept of cumulative advantage), Sims (value of small exploratory efforts), Ioannidis (fragility of science) and of course Kahnemen.

Specifically, "it is very easy to confuse superior performance with the results you would expect from luck."

This is why luck is such a huge factor:

Experts are notoriously poor at predicting the outcomes of political, social and economic systems.

The problem is that these systems are complex adaptive systems; the results you see, such as boom and busts in the stock market, emerge from the interaction of lots of individual agents. Complex adaptive systems effectively obscure cause and effect. You can’t make predictions in any but the broadest and vaguest terms.

Therefore, only the lucky can anticipate the future of complex systems to benefit from them.

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