Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics
With the same originality and astuteness that marked his widely praised Butterfly Economics, Paul Ormerod now examines the “Iron Law of Failure” as it applies to business and government–and explains what can be done about it.
“Failure is all around us,” asserts Ormerod. For every General Electric–still going strong after more than one hundred years–there are dozens of businesses like Central Leather, which was one of the world’s largest companies in 1912 but was liquidated in 1952. Ormerod debunks conventional economic theory–that the world economy ticks along in perfect equilibrium according to the best-laid plans of business and government–and delves into the reasons for the failure of brands, entire companies, and public policies. Inspired by recent advances in evolutionary theory and biology, Ormerod illuminates the ways in which companies and policy-setting sectors of government behave much like living organisms: unless they evolve, they die. But he also makes clear how desirable social and economic outcomes may be achieved when individuals, companies and governments adapt in response to the actual behavior and requirements of their customers and constituents.
Why Most Things Fail is a fascinating and provocative study of a truth all too seldom acknowledged.
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The single most useful and productive legal invention in the past few centuries
has been that of the commercial firm. Individuals have banded together and
pooled their resources in the pursuit of business since time immemorial, but the ...
On the downside, however, the entire personal wealth of each individual partner
was, in principle, at risk every single day. The don1ina11t life form for more than
a century, however, has been that ofthe li111ited liability company. Like the ...
Instead, competition was simply reduced by firms eliminating rivals by merging
them into a single organization. In part, this dramatic reduction in the number of
major players in each market was triggered by another piece of legislation, the ...
Some, such as Bethlehem Steel, WF Woolworth, Chrysler and Goodyear Tire and
Rubber were in the list for the entire period. Others enjoyed their fifteen minutes
of fame in a single appearance, such as Atlantic Gulf and West Indies Shipping ...
To remind ourselves of just one piece of evidence, over 10 per cent of all
companies in the US, the largest a11d most successful economy iii the history of
the world, fail every single year. An analytical approach that at heart involves the
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Razinha - LibraryThing
For me, the only thing of value in the book was in two lines in the introduction: "The book's content is firmly grounded in reality. Too much work in the social sciences, whether it is the dense ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Meggo - LibraryThing
I have to say at the outset that this book is not what I was expecting. Rather than a light and frothy pop-culture look at business failure, it was a detailed and analytical economic treatise on ... Read full review