Maybe I’ve been living
under a rock, but I had never heard of Robert
X. Cringely before I saw him referenced in a comment.
When I googled him (Can
I still say that?), I found: Take
My Job, Please: How to Predict the Future and Become an Industry Pundit
It’s worth reading the
whole article, but here are my favorite parts.
“… if prognostication is
unavoidable, then let’s consider the rules that should underlie predictions.
- We tend to overestimate change in the short term. While change is inevitable, and sometimes a mountain of change can be seen distinctly across the valley, few of us are good at measuring the width of that valley. We just naturally tend to see change as closer than it actually is…
- We tend to underestimate change in the long term. When change finally does happen, it sometimes looks very different from what we expected…
- The more specific a prediction, the less likely it is to be correct… [discussing potential competitors he continued] the "not yet heard from" category ought not to be rejected out of hand since that’s where the real danger lies for current market leaders.
- Past performance is a predictor of future results but not a good one.
- The most reliable predictions are those that follow established trends.”
I’ll be looking at his
column from now on.
You have to admire a guy
that is referred to as both a nerd
and a sex symbol!