> > Yes, there were some who over-reacted before Y2K. But > > note- they also assumed that we were powerless to > affect > > our fate. That it didn't matter how much effort we > threw > > at the problem, we were not going to able to change > > anything. The only difference was that they assumed > the > > bug did exist- and that we were not going to be able to > > fix it. > > Is there a label for this type of fallacy? Y2K is not the > only case I'm aware of where some action lead to a > self-defeating prophecy which was ridiculed after the > action yielded a successful result. I don't really think > that Calvinism and believe in blind fate has much to do > with it and suspect it is more related to media hype + > alienation. > > About the articles topic. I cannot say much about MBAs but > I would assume that the number of successfully driven > companies / projects is proportional to the GNP which will > grow slowly at best in late capitalist economies. Moreover > I don't think that any business method whatsoever will > eliminate natural selection on free markets which is one > of their major benefits.
For whatever it is worth, Robert Cringely recently talked about how PBS prepared a special about Y2K a few months before the date, and reached the conclusion that the problem had been mostly handled. According to him, they aired this, and then were criticized for saying so.
Naturally, no one mentioned it afterwards. :-)
He has a few more comments on the nature of people who most criticized them.
Where do you think the computer science concept of queuing theory comes from? It comes from operations management - a topic covered in every MBA program. There is real, hard mathematical and scientific evidence supporting this topic.
Businesses run real-world, scientific experiments all the time. They will use one regional marketing package for one part of the country, and another regional marketing package for another part of the country and see which one works better. Then they will deploy the winner on a nation-wide basis. That is just one small example where the scientific method is used in management.
It seems to me like you were enjoying reading Stuart's book, couldn't think of any counter-examples (because you haven't been to business school), and decided to write a post on the subject. You write very well and from a point of expertise on technical topics, but here you have missed the mark badly.
> > How could Harvard have any pride after failing the > FedEx > > business plan > > One mistake does not invalidate an entire institution, or > a person. Have you never made any mistakes?
Aside from that, we have no idea why it was failed (assuming that it actually was.) It might have been for reasons that have nothing to do with the actually idea. He might have not explained it clearly, backed it up properly or maybe it was written like a 5th grade book report. I don't know where Bruce got the idea that business school is about telling you whether you have good ideas or not.
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