“What you should learn when you make a mistake because you did not anticipate something is that the world is difficult to anticipate. That’s the correct lesson to learn from surprises: that the world is surprising.”
The most significant part of the financial crisis that peaked ten years ago this month was that it took place within eight years of both the dot-com crash and 9/11.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times – oh, hell, why even try anymore?
Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan was published in April, 2007, 90 days before the financial crisis began. It sold well for two reasons: It’s a good book, and – as authors have known for centuries – the most effective writing is putting into words something people intuitively feel but haven’t yet articulated.
The Black Swan’s message – improbable outlier events run the world – wasn’t just interesting; it resonated.
“Yes, that’s my life! That’s what I’ve experienced over and over again for the last eight years!”
My biggest lesson of the last 10 years is that we’ve clung to that idea. Probably a little too much.
*Featured post photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash