Last Thursday, I gave a speech at Ignite Chicago on the relevance of "black swan" events on entrepreneurship. I had originally been asked to talk on fundraising. However, after a compelling talk by Steve Jurvetson on our monthly network partners call, I made an audible at the line. So, thanks to Steve for inspiration and content here.
A lot has been written on "black swan" events since Nassim Taleb’s book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. In my mind, there is some overlap with this and chaos theory & non-linear systems. I have attached my presentation if anyone is interested Download 2007_12ignite_blackswan.ppt
— a Black Swan is 1) a rare event, 2) with high impact, 3) that is hard to predict (pattern attributed post event)
* examples include 9/11, stock market crashes, discoveries like Penicillin, start-ups (eBay, etc)
— most of mankind’s development has been driven by black swans (unstructured randomness)
— black swans key in driving big entrepreneurial successes (payoff inverse to predictability)
When this is coupled with the Law of Accelerating Returns (Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology), you realize that the opportunity for entrepreneurs continues to grow exponentially. As technology improves non-linearly, this means we will experience as much change in the next 20 years as we have over the past 100. Buckle up…