ビジネス: 良くなれないということは、悪くなるということ




Business: If You're Not Getting Better, You're Getting Worse

Now let's take a look at the business world. It's important to start with the acknowledgement that luck plays a large role in the results for business. Just as in baseball, where the difference between a hit and an out might be six inches of flight trajectory, business has a lot of randomness.

There are a few sources of that randomness. For one, you never know what your competitors are going to do. Sometimes companies compete in an orderly fashion and the outcome is good for the industry. Other times competitors may develop a strategy to drop prices, or add capacity, that forces a reaction. So even if you know what your plans are, you don't know those of your competitors. Game theory is a branch of economics that studies how players act and react to one another, and as you add players to the competition, the unpredictability rises quickly.

Customers are another source of randomness in business. Naturally, companies spend lots of time and effort anticipating what their customers want and need, but the success rate of new products shows that there's no easy way to do so. And even if a company can decipher its competitors and customers, it has to deal with changes based on technology. Consider the media business: how many executives in the newspaper, radio, and television industries properly anticipated the changes of the last couple of decades? Who knows where things are going from here? Business has its own version of the luck jar, and there's a wide range of numbers.

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