Business 2.0 recently published an articled entitled "How To Succeed In 2007"
. I would like to take a moment to describe why articles like this are self indulgent tripe
, and why it's an example of your potential to succeed.
The problem with the Business 2.0 article is that much of the "advice" being handed fails statistics 101 sampling. What stuck out for me when reading through these postings is that not a single article includes references to statistics. Rather than providing hard evidence, they simply go on their
"experience". It's like asking Andre Agassi if he thinks tennis is a difficult game to play. You can read more on the black swan theory on Edge
Here's some examples from the article:
- "An excellent personnel policy leads to more customer loyalty and therefore, one would probably surmise, higher sales."
- "If you give users the tools to spread and share their interests with others, they will use them to promote what is important to them."
- "The image of success is important, but even more important is the ability to focus on solutions instead of on problems."
Science is falsifiable, it is not
provable. Despite this, you only ever see advice from "top N successful business people", even though it's equally (more?) useful to get the top 50 failed business people to offer their advice on what not
Anyway, the good news is that this "evidence" is your potential success! This is because many of these people just got lucky, if you don't believe this then you must also believe that they were somehow able to ensure they were born in a first world country over a third world desert. Sure, they all probably put in a lot of work, but there are many others that have done the same. How much control do you think they really had over their future when they were starting out? Assuming they were lucky, you can get lucky too, but you have to put yourself in that position first.