Harry Guild, data strategist at BBH London, wrote an article called The Long and the Short of It Needs the Wrong and the Shit of It. “We’ve built a marketing culture that’s obsessed with aping winners and sweeps failure under the carpet.”

“Our industry’s effectiveness bible, The Long And The Short Of It, is a huge compilation of lessons from winners, yet it’s in the losers that we can best understand success.”

“This is known as survivorship bias: our tendency to construct faulty ‘learnings’ from winners at the expense of more complex contextual datasets.”

The article quotes Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow: “A stupid decision that works out well becomes a brilliant idea in hindsight… If you group success together and look for what makes them similar, the only real answer will be luck.”

See also The Halo Effect.



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