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Success Stories: How Survivorship Bias Tricks Entrepreneurs

Last month, Bill Gates revealed his favorite business book. Business Adventures, a formerly out-of-print collection of New Yorker essays by the late journalist John Brooks, chronicles business lessons learned, including Ford Motor’s (F) Edsel flop and Xerox’s (XRX) failure to capitalize on its own research and development. “Brooks didn’t boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success,” Gates noted.

The book is unusual in part because inspirational memoirs and “12 Easy Steps to Success” drive the business-publishing market and lecture circuit. After all, what entrepreneur risking everything on a startup wants to read a cautionary tale—let alone an outright downer?

via Success Stories: How Survivorship Bias Tricks Entrepreneurs – Businessweek.

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