Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics (Google eBook)

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
16 Reviews
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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Review: Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics

User Review  - Francis Fish - Goodreads

I think this is an important book, and I also think its message might be difficult for some people to reconcile their world view with. Ormerod sets his stall out to show that economists have presumed ... Read full review

Review: Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics

User Review  - Dave Peticolas - Goodreads

A tremendously stimulating investigation of failure in biological and economic systems. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Paul Ormerod was the head of the Economic Assessment Unit at The Economist and the director of economics at the Henley Centre for Forecasting in England. He has taught economics at the universities of London and Manchester, and was a founder of the consulting firm Volterra. He lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.

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