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Friday Links: Survivors and Statistics

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 13, 2009

Not much happy news in today’s link round up.

Survivor bias distorts business advice and research, writes Jason Cohen at Building 43 (hat tips to Tim Berry and Steve King.)

Small business’ woes may not be reflected fully in official statistics like GDP, writes Justin Fox at Time’s Curious Capitalist blog, suggesting reports of imminent recovery may be exaggerated.

Credit unions in Canada are winning over small business customers from big banks, according to Monica Gutschi in DJ Newswires.

Another attempt to extend credit card protections to small business cards stalls, and the NY Times’ Robb Mandelbaum looks at why.

And some of those numbers about small business job creation look deceptively optimistic. Scott Shane breaks it down in BW.

Got brighter news? Let us know on Twitter.

Reader Comments

Carol Cross

November 15, 2009 2:18 PM

You can see how "Survivor Bias" as described by Jason Cohen is used in the regulation and sale of franchises to the public.

The appearance of the viability of the franchise is supported by the visibility of the franchises in the system -- the visibility of the survivors!

However, the franchisors, under regulatory policy, appear to be able to obscure the failure rate and unprofitability rate of the UNITS of the system. Those who don't survive become invisible. This, of course, distorts the true picture and prospective franchise buyers aren't provided a true picture of the risks involved before they sign the contract.

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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