Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Did you know that 80% of statistics are made up by people to make their point?
I love that line.  It's funny but if you think about it, it goes far deeper.  Statistics are often the basis of decisions.  Look at almost every major decision your company made in recent years.  There was probably some study done by someone who found some historical trend and declared that was the one true path to future success.

And sometimes that is true, due to sheer momentum.  It's like someone claiming to be a real estate genius by buying in a rising market.  But more often big breakthroughs came because someone had the stones to do something different.  They saw something was wrong (or at least not "right") and they altered course.   Most of the major "brilliant" ideas were discovered that way.

Twilight was rejected by fourteen publishers before finally getting published.  J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter were rejected by 12 publishing houses.  Stephen King's classic horror book Carrie was rejected 30 times.

Would you want to be one of those editors today?  All of those publishers would have sworn on their careers that those books would never sell.  After all, that's why they rejected them!

So what's the point?

Your ideas will not be successful 100% of the time, but ideas you toss out because they're not exactly aligned with what you're doing now will fail 100% of the time.

Now that's a statistic.

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