Monday, July 30, 2007
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
A Black Swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: it is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. Humans are hard-wired not to truly estimate risk, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the 'impossible', such as emerging technologies.