You Are Not As Good As Your Thinking

A reminder on Survivorship Bias

Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash

As the pandemic hit the country, the government started to enact a lockdown policy and that’s the time I couldn't able controlling my mind. I was overthinking and analyzing a lot of things myself.

I went to a lot of youtube videos and finding encouragement of starting a business and be an entrepreneur. I watch more than 50 videos until I started to take action buying stuff to make my online coffee business.

After spending roughly $500 on the materials, I started to confuse about selling the product. I have no idea how to market the coffee and sell it to customers. I put commercials on my social media story and share them with my friends.

Juggling between work and my coffee business, I started to get more confused and becoming unreliable to my friend’s call. A month later, I did not make my return on investment and I messed up.

I realize that I couldn't focus on my business due to my insane workload and did not understand the market well. It was stupid to make an F&B business, especially produce a drink that is not a primary need, in the midst of economic difficulty. I failed to assess the business in the first place.

The second time I come up with an idea to make a handcraft, I had no idea how to meet the market of the product. Another moment was when I wanted to build an agency, I did not understand how to get a client.

From that experience, I realize that I am not as good as I think of myself. I was filled with enthusiasm after watching videos and encouragements and failed to reassess my ideas and skill.

I went to a book entitled The Art of Thinking and found that I experienced survivorship bias. I failed to think clearly and overestimate my knowledge. In our life, triumph is made more visible than failure. Hence, it stimulates us to systematically overestimate the chances of succeeding.

I succumb to an illusion and failed to understand how minuscule the probability of success is. These days, many entrepreneurs share their success and encourage people to follow their path. However, many of their fans failed to see the overarching variables.

Just like me, who don't have a market to sell my products. My circle is not ready to buy it and if I have to attach to another layer of market, I have to cash out more money that I couldn’t afford at that time.

So, what do I learned from that experience?

Here it is. Survivorship bias means overestimating the chances of success, and to against it we have to assess as much as variables in it and lastly, frequently check the failure story and learnt from it.

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Adven Kluger

Adven Kluger

Former consultant at World Bank, Ernst and Young, and International Institute for Sustainable Development. Currently explore freelancing and wish to travel.