The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

ZahScr

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2020
15
19
17
Canada

Who here has considered the Lindy Effect when evaluating fast lane business ideas?

The Lindy Effect says that if something has existed for x number of years, you can reasonably expect it to exist for that same number of years into the future. More info on the idea in this video, article, and academic article.​
0_z9adxpKh6B4mmFYX.png
I think it's something really valuable to consider when qualifying your business ideas along with the CENTS framework.

You can also apply it to different aspects of your business. So for example, let's say I found a need want to build an app that helps solve it, and that I plan to build an app/website to help animal shelters find people to adopt animals. I could ask:​
  • Is the need lindy?
    • how long have animal shelters existed?​
    • for how long have people wanted pets?​
  • Is the method of delivery lindy?
    • how long have apps been around?​
    • how long have different app distributors been around?​
    • how long have websites been around? (I know some of these sound is kind of ridiculous lol, but I think it's still worth considering)​
While there's no guarantee that things will exist into the future, it does help you to consider the longevity of your endeavour, and it might help with a few decisions.

Would love to hear anyones thoughts on what other aspects of a business this could be applied to (or anything else for that matter).​
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
31,639
118,952
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Do you have an example how this fits into an idea that seems a bit antiquated, but is ripe for a new version?
 

ZahScr

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2020
15
19
17
Canada
Do you have an example how this fits into an idea that seems a bit antiquated, but is ripe for a new version?

I'd say that if the solution is antiquated then both the problem and solution have probably been around for at least a while. If you're trying to disrupt a stagnant solution with a fresh one, then I guess it's up to you to do it in a way that you think will last, but the solution is probably going to be something new-ish either way. In that case I think it would be worth focusing more on the longevity of the problem.

Let's take fax machines... since they still exist for some reason. I was asked by the government to send something by fax as recently as 2016 (!?). The solution seems super antiquated, but the need has been around for a while: "I need to send someone secure information in a way they can trust". Secure PDFs are trying to do something about this, but it's still pretty clunky in my opinion.

I guess this just helps with considering the greater context of whatever problem/need you're trying to solve.
 

Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,123
5,161
1,277
24
Washington State
Your chart says that great ideas live in any amount of time as long as it has low value or relevancy.

Which makes 0 sense.

The best takeaway from the article is that industries or groups of people who are judged by their peers and not by reality often fail. Which explains why academia is full of idiots and it explains why I'm such a fan of the free market, in both business and in relationships. Your business sucks, you fail. You're lame when you talk to girls, and they ignore you. I really like that part of the article but your graph doesn't make a lot of sense.
 

c4n

Full throttle
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 30, 2017
288
704
293
Europe
Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes a bit about the Lindy effect in his book Antifragile.

As I recall the main point was that the longer a thing (object, invention, book, ...) is in use, the longer you can expect it to stay in use. Or in other words, the longer a thing is in use, the more probable it is that we are in the middle of its "lifetime" rather than at the end. I often think of the Lindy effect when I hear people saying gold will be obsolete as a store of value in a few years ;)

Taleb gives an example that you can expect a book that stays in print for 10 years to stay in print for another 10 years. But if it is in print for 20 years, you can expect it to be in print for another 50 years.

So if my son reads TMF in 2030 and it's still relevant, it's very likely my hypothetical grandson will read it and find it valuable in 2060.
 

thechosen1

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
718
1,128
355
Texas
Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes a bit about the Lindy effect in his book Antifragile.

As I recall the main point was that the longer a thing (object, invention, book, ...) is in use, the longer you can expect it to stay in use. Or in other words, the longer a thing is in use, the more probable it is that we are in the middle of its "lifetime" rather than at the end. I often think of the Lindy effect when I hear people saying gold will be obsolete as a store of value in a few years ;)

Taleb gives an example that you can expect a book that stays in print for 10 years to stay in print for another 10 years. But if it is in print for 20 years, you can expect it to be in print for another 50 years.

So if my son reads TMF in 2030 and it's still relevant, it's very likely my hypothetical grandson will read it and find it valuable in 2060.

I like the idea about how longterm ideas that stand the test of time are good, but part of this just doesn't make sense to me...

Because "the longer a thing is in use," naturally the closer you would be to the "end," not necessarily "the middle."

Think about it.

Let's say we don't know your age, but we do know that the longer you are alive, we can assume you are closer to dying.

(I feel like life is kinda like rushing around the kitchen doing a bunch of stuff before the microwave beeper goes off)
 

Sethamus

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2019
352
598
240
Northshore area, New Orleans
Just throwing this out, let’s see if it makes any sense for Lindy.
Do you have an example how this fits into an idea that seems a bit antiquated, but is ripe for a new version?

Your chart says that great ideas live in any amount of time as long as it has low value or relevancy.

Which makes 0 sense.

The best takeaway from the article is that industries or groups of people who are judged by their peers and not by reality often fail. Which explains why academia is full of idiots and it explains why I'm such a fan of the free market, in both business and in relationships. Your business sucks, you fail. You're lame when you talk to girls, and they ignore you. I really like that part of the article but your graph doesn't make a lot of sense.
Let’s take Johnny’s business. Been around forever and done the same way forever, which is why there are so many single operators are out there. Johnny is doing digital pay which is ahead of most, but nothing truly revolutionary. What is next in this industry? Is it AI mowers that allow 1 man to do twice as many jobs(it mows while worker edges, etc).
To the consumer this is irrelevant and of no value as they only care that the grass gets cut. To the business owner this means doubling the revenue as each crew can do more jobs in a day.
So is the business ripe for Lindy?
 

Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,123
5,161
1,277
24
Washington State
Just throwing this out, let’s see if it makes any sense for Lindy.



Let’s take Johnny’s business. Been around forever and done the same way forever, which is why there are so many single operators are out there. Johnny is doing digital pay which is ahead of most, but nothing truly revolutionary. What is next in this industry? Is it AI mowers that allow 1 man to do twice as many jobs(it mows while worker edges, etc).
To the consumer this is irrelevant and of no value as they only care that the grass gets cut. To the business owner this means doubling the revenue as each crew can do more jobs in a day.
So is the business ripe for Lindy?
I appreciate you using my business as an example. There's a lot of industries that could be shaken up. I stuck with this business because I saw the industry the way Ray Kroc saw the fast-food business. Take a fractured industry of single operators or mom and pop shops, apply systems and bring it into the future, scale it up with franchises and new locations, become a giant in the industry. That was always the plan.

But to argue that a good idea would to do something that offers little perceived value, in an industry that has been around a long time...I don't think that's a great rule of thumb. Maybe I'm just not understanding it correctly.
 

Sethamus

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2019
352
598
240
Northshore area, New Orleans
After thinking on it more I came to this. It could be taken many ways I feel and the chart really just screws up how you first read the explanation of Lindy. Before this post I have never heard of it so this is just my take from this thread.

The chart helps identify the industry that has been consistently around, but maybe overlooked on a broad scale. Currently almost any trade business would fit this as they are all needed, but the public perception is low value( even though EVERYONE needs these services). So to me, the “great idea” arrow marks the point where an industry is ready for change, not that the idea would result in zero value add. You see in your business a broken system that can be streamlined and scaled using good business principles and technology. You expect this business to continue for many years, which Lindy assumes as well.
 

Empires

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 12, 2016
275
687
277
25
Planet Earth
I appreciate you using my business as an example. There's a lot of industries that could be shaken up. I stuck with this business because I saw the industry the way Ray Kroc saw the fast-food business. Take a fractured industry of single operators or mom and pop shops, apply systems and bring it into the future, scale it up with franchises and new locations, become a giant in the industry. That was always the plan.
This.

To dominate a fragmented industry you need to create an ecosystem that keeps customers interacting with your company.

And you're right, there is a ton of industries that are fragmented with thousands of mom and pop shops.

You're creating an ecosystem in your business by doing business subscription only, 12 month contracts.

You need a hook that brings the customers back. Add hundreds and thousands of locations and you start to dominate an industry by owning a large percentage of the market on a subscription basis.

How can other companies even compete at that point? You already own the customers.
 

c4n

Full throttle
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 30, 2017
288
704
293
Europe
I like the idea about how longterm ideas that stand the test of time are good, but part of this just doesn't make sense to me...

Because "the longer a thing is in use," naturally the closer you would be to the "end," not necessarily "the middle."

Think about it.

Let's say we don't know your age, but we do know that the longer you are alive, we can assume you are closer to dying.

(I feel like life is kinda like rushing around the kitchen doing a bunch of stuff before the microwave beeper goes off)

Oh, should have made clear that the Lindy effect applies to non-perishable things which an individual human being isn't :)
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

thechosen1

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
718
1,128
355
Texas
Oh, should have made clear that the Lindy effect applies to non-perishable things which an individual human being isn't :)
Businesses are all perishable. Like Bezos said, someday Amazon won’t exist.
 

Kid

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2016
1,555
1,433
439
When something is existing for 10 years, someone can come with x5 better implementation
and most of those from 10 years won't exist, in a matter of few quarters.
Too many examples of this to list.
 

Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,123
5,161
1,277
24
Washington State
This.

To dominate a fragmented industry you need to create an ecosystem that keeps customers interacting with your company.

And you're right, there is a ton of industries that are fragmented with thousands of mom and pop shops.

You're creating an ecosystem in your business by doing business subscription only, 12 month contracts.

You need a hook that brings the customers back. Add hundreds and thousands of locations and you start to dominate an industry by owning a large percentage of the market on a subscription basis.

How can other companies even compete at that point? You already own the customers.
the idea is to dominate the industry through one vertical with mass appeal and large demand (lawn care) and use the infrastructure, systems, and customer base to launch further services (once the lawn care is at scale nationally) until the entire home services industry is ours. And customers can't help but stay connected with us because we essentially own them and when they need something else done, they come to us first, cutting out any competitors having even a chance. It all hinges on giving the customer a good enough service so they stay with you, and having the systems in place that will allow your company to still operate with a healthy profit margin at scale, which is what most companies struggle with. Amazon chose books as their first vertical for a reason.
 

monfii

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 3, 2020
797
1,697
460
Brussels
Take a fractured industry of single operators or mom and pop shops, apply systems and bring it into the future, scale it up with franchises and new locations, become a giant in the industry. That was always the plan

That comment is gold.


The Lindy effect makes sense in the case of principles, ideas, practices, and "laws".

It obviously makes no sense when that which we speak about naturally tends to evolve (life).
 

ZahScr

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2020
15
19
17
Canada
Your chart says that great ideas live in any amount of time as long as it has low value or relevancy.

Which makes 0 sense.

The best takeaway from the article is that industries or groups of people who are judged by their peers and not by reality often fail. Which explains why academia is full of idiots and it explains why I'm such a fan of the free market, in both business and in relationships. Your business sucks, you fail. You're lame when you talk to girls, and they ignore you. I really like that part of the article but your graph doesn't make a lot of sense.
You're right, that chart is bullshit. I grabbed it off the internet when posting this to help illustrate the point but, like you said, it reads "low value things have a high life expectancy", which is not at all what Lindy is about. A much better chart would be this:

Lindy-Effect-1024x683.jpg
 

ZahScr

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2020
15
19
17
Canada
I like the idea about how longterm ideas that stand the test of time are good, but part of this just doesn't make sense to me...

Because "the longer a thing is in use," naturally the closer you would be to the "end," not necessarily "the middle."

Think about it.

Let's say we don't know your age, but we do know that the longer you are alive, we can assume you are closer to dying.

(I feel like life is kinda like rushing around the kitchen doing a bunch of stuff before the microwave beeper goes off)
Lindy does not apply to things that physically breakdown, it's about relevance of ideas or parish-able things. So that's the ideas in a book vs the physical book.
 

thechosen1

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
718
1,128
355
Texas
Lindy does not apply to things that physically breakdown, it's about relevance of ideas or parish-able things. So that's the ideas in a book vs the physical book.
I don’t want to overtake this with useless philosophical points, but I feel like it’s important to know that as time passes everything is approaching the end of its time, be it a business, an industry, a planet, galaxy, or existence.

But it just depends how far you wanna zoom out. I guess there is a certain frame of reference that is useful, and beyond that, there’s not much usefulness
 

ZahScr

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2020
15
19
17
Canada
I don’t want to overtake this with useless philosophical points, but I feel like it’s important to know that as time passes everything is approaching the end of its time, be it a business, an industry, a planet, galaxy, or existence.

But it just depends how far you wanna zoom out. I guess there is a certain frame of reference that is useful, and beyond that, there’s not much usefulness
Totally fair points! There's definitely room to get fairly philosophical with this topic, and in the end it's probability not certainty. So far, I haven't seen a good reason not to consider it when trying to put a problem or potential solution in context.
 

ZahScr

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 19, 2020
15
19
17
Canada
That comment is gold.


The Lindy effect makes sense in the case of principles, ideas, practices, and "laws".

It obviously makes no sense when that which we speak about naturally tends to evolve (life).
Great distinction there! (between systems that naturally evolve vs ideas/practices/etc)

So where do you see a need/problem fitting? - Would you say it fits on the "natural evolution" side of things?
 

monfii

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 3, 2020
797
1,697
460
Brussels
Great distinction there! (between systems that naturally evolve vs ideas/practices/etc)

So where do you see a need/problem fitting? - Would you say it fits on the "natural evolution" side of things?
Need/problems can be judged by Lindy. Chances are the need for food will outlive the need for screen, because the need for screen is part of a constantly evolving dynamic of needs, while the need for food seems to be rather...fixed.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
Hi - can you DM me your info and I will send on some proper links. I could type it out but it...
  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
It's an affiliate link, so it's hard to give those up! The affiliate links are automatically...
MARKETPLACE Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
I would suggest you change the free book to paid as soon as possible, and use the revenue to...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
A week ago someone asked if one of my courses is still relevant (referring to the Upwork...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Thanks for clearing that up. What do you recommend for those who are still in the process of...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Kill Bigger Incubator
I have not offered one of these in a while, but it looks like I have time to take on an...

What are Fastlaners Currently Reading?



Forum Sponsor

Grow an online business:
- Start immediately!
- Master business skills!
- 100+ Fastlane students enrolled!
Review & Details >

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom