Although most attention tends to focus on “bad” Black Swans, there are also good Black Swans, he says, for instance in scientific research and drug discovery. “There is a lot more randomness in biotechnology and any form of medical discovery. The role of design is overestimated. Every time we plan on trying to find a drug we don’t because it closes our mind. How are we discovering drugs? From the side-effects of other drugs.” Researchers very often “change their story” when they discover something by accident to give the impression it was by design. “The biggest discovery in cancer came from a mustard gas accident in Italy, not from the 130,000 compounds systematically tested by the National Cancer Institute. They were not looking to improve the lives of older men when they discovered Viagra.”Isn't it so with (some) business models and other types of corporate behavior? Indeed, has anyone figured out Facebook's business model? In fact, this is not as new as the low(ered) costs of trying. And, since we are talking about Facebook, the risk for its kind comes from some startup that's studying all the shortcomings of the Facebook-genera (read, limitations of an ad-driven model at the expense of annoying the hell out of its users) and looking for better ways to connect Jane and Joe.
From a recent Financial Times Lunch Interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
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