3 Business Strategies You Think Are Good for Growing Your Startup That Actually Aren’t

Getting new customers for a startup is hard when you’re following strategies meant for different types of companies.

Aaron Dinin, PhD
The Startup

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Image courtesy Monstera via Pexels

During World War II, the bomber fleets of the Allied forces were getting decimated by German defenses, and they needed to know how to improve the armor on their planes. For help, they turned to a statistician named Abraham Wald. Wald compiled a deep analysis of bullet damage done to all the bombers that safely returned, and then he made his suggestion. He advised the Allies to add additional armor to all the places on the returning planes that did not have bullet holes.

Seems counterintuitive, right? Wouldn’t you want to better protect the parts of the planes that were getting hit?

Actually… no. Wald knew he only had data related to the surviving planes, meaning his data showed where planes could take damage and return safely. What he didn’t have was the data for all the planes that didn’t survive. He reasoned that those planes likely received damage in the most vulnerable places, which is why they never returned.

The phenomenon from Wald’s analysis is known as survivorship bias. It’s a form of selection bias that causes people to…

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Aaron Dinin, PhD
The Startup

I teach entrepreneurship at Duke. Software Engineer. PhD in English. I write about the mistakes entrepreneurs make since I’ve made plenty. More @ aarondinin.com