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A great example of survivor bias

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Andy Black

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I just saw this posted on Facebook. See... FB does have some uses!

Anyone have any other good examples of survivor bias?


26645
 

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GPM

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That is a great example! I read about that in a book and it really hit home, can't recall which one now. Never Split The Difference maybe.

I like to think about problems with that angle in mind. Someones when I think about that it completely changes my end conclusion, always for the better
 

Raoul Duke

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That is a great example! I read about that in a book and it really hit home, can't recall which one now. Never Split The Difference maybe.

I like to think about problems with that angle in mind. Someones when I think about that it completely changes my end conclusion, always for the better
Nassim Taleb - fooled by randomness?
 

Rawseed

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Some great examples in Wikipedia as well, including:

In cats

In a study performed in 1987 it was reported that cats who fall from less than six stories, and are still alive, have greater injuries than cats who fall from higher than six stories.[12][13] It has been proposed that this might happen because cats reach terminal velocity after righting themselves at about five stories, and after this point they relax, leading to less severe injuries in cats who have fallen from six or more stories.[14]

In 2008, The Straight Dope newspaper column proposed that another possible explanation for this phenomenon[15] would be survivorship bias. Cats that die in falls are less likely to be brought to a veterinarian than injured cats, and thus many of the cats killed in falls from higher buildings are not reported in studies of the subject.[16]
 

MJ DeMarco

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That is a great example! I read about that in a book and it really hit home, can't recall which one now. Never Split The Difference maybe.

I like to think about problems with that angle in mind. Someones when I think about that it completely changes my end conclusion, always for the better
Me too but I can't remember where. I think maybe Thinking Fast and Slow. It's gonna drive me nuts now.
Nassim Taleb - fooled by randomness?
I just used the search function on kindle and hunted through three books.. can’t find it. Gahhhh.
Omg, Hope y’all are being sarcastic. I talk about the Wald story in Unscripted. I realize it’s a 400 page + book but it’s a pretty poignant story and message. Somewhat shocked that no one here, including folks who have read it, don’t know “where” they read it, or might have read it.

Of course I’m not the first to tell the Wald story but I would have hoped a few folks would have remembered that Unscripted just might have been the place you read it.

:wideyed:
 

MJ DeMarco

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kelvinfernandezm

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Omg, Hope y’all are being sarcastic. I talk about the Wald story at great length in Unscripted. I realize it’s a 400 page + book but it’s a pretty poignant story and message. Somewhat shocked that no one here, including folks who have read it, don’t know “where” they read it, or might have read it.

Of course I’m not the first to tell the Wald story but I would have hoped a few folks would have remembered that Unscripted just might have been the place you read it.

:wideyed:
Its not just an example of a survivor bias, it’s the birth of it, its origin story.

Lol at everyone trying to figure out where they read it. They know they read it but they don't know where. They also know they read it in a entrepreneur book because no one mentioned reading it on social media.

I actually do remember reading it in Unscripted.
 

Sizemore

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Anyone have any other good examples of survivor bias
Anyone have a personal example of how they realized survivor bias in their business? It seems like an important lesson... I am just having trouble wrapping my head around it.
 

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Primeperiwinkle

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Omg, Hope y’all are being sarcastic. I talk about the Wald story at great length in Unscripted. I realize it’s a 400 page + book but it’s a pretty poignant story and message. Somewhat shocked that no one here, including folks who have read it, don’t know “where” they read it, or might have read it.

Of course I’m not the first to tell the Wald story but I would have hoped a few folks would have remembered that Unscripted just might have been the place you read it.

:wideyed:
Oh I feel bad now. I’m sorry dude. Writing a book is like birthing a child, the author knows every curve and line. But reading a book is like meeting somebody else’s kid.. and this year I’ve met fifty-two “kids” at least. I readily admit that most of Unscripted was way above my head and that it will have to be reread again in the future.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Oh I feel bad now.
Oh no need to feel bad, as I said, its a damn BIG book. I just thought someone among the many folks here would have recognized where they might have read it previously.

IMG_0750.JPG

Anyone have a personal example of how they realized survivor bias in their business?
Great question, would love to hear some.

Of course, many things are subject to a survivor bias. One could say any entrepreneur success story, my story, and as I mention above, the compound interest "I retired early" stories that plaster the front page of Yahoo finance are all examples of survivor bias stories. Behind the successes, you never read about the failures... failures that are 10X+ more prevalent.
 

G-Man

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Oh I feel bad now. I’m sorry dude. Writing a book is like birthing a child, the author knows every curve and line. But reading a book is like meeting somebody else’s kid.. and this year I’ve met fifty-two “kids” at least. I readily admit that most of Unscripted was way above my head and that it will have to be reread again in the future.
LOL at that analogy. Too close to how I have to spend every weekend at kids parties in the summer.

Me and @Andy Black and a bunch of other dads that don't wanna be there are standing by the grill drinking lukewarm Shiner, forcing a conversation about the Cowboys, when little Unscripted runs up and asks for a burger. Unscripted's mom, MJ, runs up and says "Don't you remember he's a vegan?". I say I forgot, because that's less embarrassing that admitting I forgot he was the DeMarco kid, and thought he was the Kahneman kid.
 

MJ DeMarco

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when little Unscripted runs up and asks for a burger.
That's where your story lost credibility... he would have never asked for a piece of dead cow, instead he wouldn't have been repulsed by everyone ooohing and ahhhing about the searing flesh on the open flame.

;)
 

G-Man

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That's where your story lost credibility... he would have never asked for a piece of dead cow, instead he wouldn't have been repulsed by everyone ooohing and ahhhing about the searing flesh on the open flame.

;)
He says while wearing yoga pants and a feel the bern t shirt.... Next you're gonna lecture me about how you want your son to grow up kind, and how the toxins in meat contribute to toxic masculinity and violence. I'm a seasoned veteran of the upper-middle class white liberal backyard summer birthday party, MJ. You're not gonna throw anything at me I haven't heard.

On a serious note, I worked for equity as part of a company that was founded by someone who had sold a company previously in the same snack food space. The product was good, the branding was on-point, and the customer engagement was great. In our latter days, I remember him telling me laundry lists of all the strokes of luck they had gotten the first time around that he didn't realize at the time would be so hard to repeat.

That's why some of the post-mortem threads are great here. @Scot has a good one on an app he built
 

MJ DeMarco

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He says while wearing yoga pants and a feel the bern t shirt.... Next you're gonna lecture me about how you want your son to grow up kind, and how the toxins in meat contribute to toxic masculinity and violence. I'm a seasoned veteran of the upper-middle class white liberal backyard summer birthday party, MJ. You're not gonna throw anything at me I haven't heard.
Wrong on all counts, I see you've taken one characteristic and lazily put it into a box. He doesn't wear yoga pants because he has a concealed carry and he thinks Bernie Sanders is a blithering fool.
 

Champion

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For those who are interested in these metaphor stories, I just heard another great one today while listening to audiobook in the car, it goes like this:

In Ancient Greece, it was completely normal for a man to have two wives, one old and one young. Both women would love the man very dearly.

Everyday in the evening, it would be a custom for the husbands young wife to comb the hair of her husband and to pluck out any of his forming grey hair. Of course... She didn't want her husband looking too much older then herself, how could she be seen with him in public otherwise?

Similarly, in the morning, after the greek man came out of the shower, his older wife would help him dress up for the day. While doing so, she would also comb his hair and pluck out any of the black hair that he had, hoping only grey hair to be left, so that her husband could also look as old as her.

The result of all of this after hair plucking? After a couple of months, the greek man had not a single hair left on his head, he had become completely bald.

The morale of the story?

You cant serve two masters at once. Be monogamous with your business idea. Put all energy into your one business and ensure reliable and steady cash flow from it first, before you start putting energy into other ventures!
 

Rabby

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This story reminds me I gave away my last copy of Unscripted. You would think all these other books in the house are important. But actually they are only here because I never give them away. Time to order another copy...
 

ChrisV

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This is actually a true story. And a really clever use of illustration to show the point. I've heard this story a bunch of times, but never seen it illustrated, which makes it even more impactful. Thanks for this.

Edit: FUUUUUU lol

totally forgot this was in Unscripted.

Oh no need to feel bad, as I said, its a damn BIG book. I just thought someone among the many folks here would have recognized where they might have read it previously.

26675



Great question, would love to hear some.

Of course, many things are subject to a survivor bias. One could say any entrepreneur success story, my story, and as I mention above, the compound interest "I retired early" stories that plaster the front page of Yahoo finance are all examples of survivor bias stories. Behind the successes, you never read about the failures... failures that are 10X+ more prevalent.
 

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ChrisV

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Omg, Hope y’all are being sarcastic. I talk about the Wald story in Unscripted. I realize it’s a 400 page + book but it’s a pretty poignant story and message. Somewhat shocked that no one here, including folks who have read it, don’t know “where” they read it, or might have read it.

Of course I’m not the first to tell the Wald story but I would have hoped a few folks would have remembered that Unscripted just might have been the place you read it.

:wideyed:
MJ, I think they're messing around lol.

This story reminds me I gave away my last copy of Unscripted. You would think all these other books in the house are important. But actually they are only here because I never give them away. Time to order another copy...
Oh shit, the Survivorship bias strikes again.
 

Leo Hendrix

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Interesting.

Sort of, learning from what failed rather than just focusing on wins alone.

A good way to improve and avoid repeating mistakes.
 

Leo Hendrix

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Listening to Naval Podcast now ( Turning Long-Term Games into Long-Term Games) He discusses the Pareto Principle.

Is this the Pareto Principle in play? - utilize counter-intuitive strategies to succeed rather than doubling down on what seems is the "right" way to go prima facie?
 

Stargazer

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Unscripted aside, I would guess that the book the others may be thinking of is Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed as that had the visuals and people are visual so the picture above probably jogged the memory bank.

Dan
 

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