Sunday, November 6, 2011

Deep Insight - Daniel Kahneman: Beware the ‘inside view’

How many times do you remember projects, ventures and adventures turning out faster or easier than expected?  Better than expected returns, financial or otherwise, are not uncommon, but easier or faster, next to never.  Why?

Here is Daniel Kahneman's  insight in his words (whole post reported below):

Why the inside view didn’t work   (a book writing project)

This embarrassing episode remains one of the most instructive experiences of my professional life. I had stumbled onto a distinction between two profoundly different approaches to forecasting, which Amos Tversky1 and I later labeled the inside view and the outside view.

The inside view is the one that all of us, including Seymour, spontaneously adopted to assess the future of our project. We focused on our specific circumstances and searched for evidence in our own experiences. We had a sketchy plan: we knew how many chapters we were going to write, and we had an idea of how long it had taken us to write the two that we had already done. The more cautious among us probably added a few months as a margin of error.