2020 – The year the white swan arrived

May 14th, 2020
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“What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalise it) is an event with the following three attributes.

First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.” – Nicholas Taleb.

A catastrophe happened – but Taleb tells us it is something we should have expected.

Most of the writing we’re seeing sitting at our desks, reading about COVID-19 talks about how unpredictable this tragic human plague is. But what’s important to know about this event right now is that it is not a Black Swan event, despite the fact that so many diagnose it as such.

The great Taleb says this about COVID-19 in 2020: “some people claim that the pandemic is a “Black Swan”, hence something unexpected so not planning for it is excusable.

The book they commonly cite is The Black Swan. Had they read that book, they would have known that such a global pandemic is explicitly presented there as a white swan: something that would eventually take place with great certainty. Such acute pandemic is unavoidable, the result of the structure of the modern world; and its economic consequences would be compounded because of the increased connectivity and over-optimisation.”

Certainty is increasingly tricky in business these days, but if anything speaks about how important it is to understand and find the rhythms, patterns and codes that inform our world.

This is why late last year Platinum Seed offered its 2020 Trends Report to offer guidance to customers and the community in which we operate.

We’ve reviewed how well we understood our world – And whether our trends are still relevant – As well as adding our findings in the form of some actionable insights for businesses to implement.  

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