Why do we only ever hear about the things that worked, or success stories. What about all the products that never made it ? What did we learn from their failures ? The answer is, of course, that companies or products that fail never live on to tell their stories. George Orwell wrote `History is written by the winners’ in his essay “As I Please”.
The finance industry calls this Survivor’s Bias when failed companies are excluded research or studies. Failed companies aren’t around to to be measured as failures and therefore the research shows a better picture than is actually true.
In Networking, this terms refers to the fact that we tend to buy products from companies that are clearly in good financial shape and of suitable size. We don’t often buy products from niche, small or unknown companies because of the perception that they won’t survive.
So many early stage companies that fail have direct impact on our daily lives when we have purchased their products. We need to replace and refit. It might be that one of the failures of the Venture Capital industry is that our purchasing appetite for untried and untested companies is now almost zero.
Therefore, in my design reviews and product analysis, I talk about Surivivor’s Bias, rather a companies fitness. It is much more fun.