Survivorship Bias in Startups

Confluence, from Hacker News, makes a great argument for why all advice given by successful startup founders should be taken with a grain of salt - statistical variability. Humans tend to create narratives around events, thereby turning random outcomes into events with perceived predictability.

I myself have been guilty of reading and listening to startup founders tell their stories to try to find a pattern that I can emulate for success (Jim Collins is a guilty pleasure). But the truth is probably closer to what confluence is preaching - there is a very limited set of commonalities in startup founders, and a lot of what we interpret as skill or foresight is more likely luck.

It is a must-read comment for anyone involved in startups. A choice quote:

[Taking lessons from successful startup founders is] like taking lessons from survivors of the Titanic on how to survive the sinking of a ship. It’s quite simple - be a young female child with a life vest and rich parents (or in startup land - a young upper-middle class male living in California during a venture bubble, a cyclical investment in the Valley with a convergence of secondary technologies, above average intelligence and a college degree from a reputable university).