The Black Swan
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A Little Background

The author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, describes himself as an “essayist, belletrist and researcher only interested in one single topic, chance (particularly extreme and rare) event.”

He is currently the Dean’s Professor in the Sciences of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His interest in understanding the unpredictable grew from his years on Wall Street, trading derivatives.

The back cover quote from Tom Peters proclaims:

“There’s more about the ways of the real world between the covers of The Black Swan than in the contents of a dozen libraries.”

The Harvard Business Review says:

“The book itself is a black swan: a rare, unusual, and oddly lovely thing.”

As of this writing, The Black Swan has appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List for 10 weeks in a row.

Much of Taleb’s book addresses the foibles of assuming that by using logical, well-though-out models based on past experience, we can determine the success of future endeavors. And as a marketing services company, we use a number of models to help our clients to build more successful marketing programs and improve their return on marketing investment. So we were particularly drawn to the counter-intuitive premise of The Black Swan.

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