Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics

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Faber & Faber, 2005 - Business failures - 255 pages
16 Reviews
From the best-selling author of The Death of Economics and Butterfly Economics, a ground-breaking look at a truth all too seldom acknowledged: most commercial and public policy ventures will not succeed. WorldCom, Enron, Yamaichi, Equitable Life, Andersen, Parmalat, Shell . . . Around the world, corporate scandal - and full-scale collapse - has caught the headlines in a spectacular way, and investors avidly search for scapegoats. We all express surprise at such catastrophes - yet extinction is an inherent fact of life, and failure comes calling at the door of companies both gigantic and small. Over 17,000 companies will go bust this year in the UK alone. But is this a bad thing? And if so why does the US, with its hugely dynamic economy, see more than 10 per cent of companies disappear each year? In his inimitable fashion, Paul Ormerod draws upon recent advances in biology to help us understand the surprising consequences of the Iron Law of Failure. And he shows what strategies corporations, businesses and governments will need to adopt to stand a chance of prospering in a world where only one thing is certain.

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Review: Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics

User Review  - Francis Fish - Goodreads

I think this is an important book, and I also think its message might be difficult for some people to reconcile their world view with. Ormerod sets his stall out to show that economists have presumed ... Read full review

Review: Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics

User Review  - Dave Peticolas - Goodreads

A tremendously stimulating investigation of failure in biological and economic systems. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Paul Ormerod was Director of Economics at the Henley Centre for Forecasting from 1982 to 1992, and has been a visiting Professor of Economics at London and Manchester.

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