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Survivorship bias

You can't learn how to be lucky, but you can learn a lot from failure. 

We are all infatuated with success stories.

 In media success stories, sell stuff.

 but they're not always what you should be paying attention to. In fact, sometimes they're downright misleading.

 In statistics, they talk about something called survivorship bias. It's totally not intuitive, but when you learn to spot it,

it's incredibly useful.  like when my cat found her way into a crawlspace and fell two floors through a chute ending up behind my stove.

she's fine.

I was reminded of a study.

 This study suggested that cats had a higher survival rate when they fell more than six stories.

 I think the premise was they'd hit terminal velocity flatten themselves out and parachute to the ground. I don't know.

 The problem with that study it was based on vet reports of cats that made it to the vet.

 and that nobody was really bothering to scrape up all the ones that didn't make and bring 'em into the er.

 The success rate doesn't give you the whole story. and the most famous example is this one.

 In World War ii, a secret team of pencil pushers sent a statistician named Abraham Wald

to help the Air Force determine where they should be outfitting their bombers with armor.

 Flying those missions was like a death sentence, and you can't just throw armor all over a plane, not if you want it to fly.

 The Air Force looked at those planes coming back, surveyed where the damage was, and did what instinctively we all want to do. fortify those areas of the plane.

 But Ward pointed out what now should be coming into focus,

when you're looking at the survivors, you're not seeing the whole picture. And in this case, they weren't considering the planes that didn't come back.

 the data they were seeing was providing a map for all the places the planes could take damage and still make it home.

 the spots that needed all the armor were the spots without the damage.  And all this has everything to do with your own success in business or as a creative person.

 when you measure yourself against all the Cinderella stories, you're not taking into account all the failures, but that's where the learnings come from.

 And when you don't iterate and make mistakes, you only replicate. you don't grow.

 Success doesn't always teach you much.

 You can't teach someone to be lucky, but you can learn an awful lot from failure.

 We hope you'll share that with someone who belongs in a Beat Kitchen class.




What do a story about my cat falling behind my stove, a World War II statistician, and a school that teaches creative people to make music and find success in their creative studies have in common? As it turns out… A lot. I don’t have high hopes that many people will watch a two minute video. That’s part of the problem. We are inundated with success stories and they tend to be more performative than they are informative. Parroting the actions and walking in the footsteps of someone who is successful does not really generally lead to success. Take a moment and watch this. And then, if Beat Kitchen seems like a different kind of school, one that can meet you where you’re at and get you where you were trying to go, consider joining us for one of our upcoming cohorts. We teach music production, songwriting, music theory, and production tools like Apple Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, FL Studio, ProTools, etc. And we teach the foundations to get you understanding the tools you use in mixing, mastering as well as all aspects of creative studies. If you’re creative, there’s a seat for you at our table.

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