There’s a 40% Chance This Post Attracts 1,000,000 Followers

Of course, that means there’s a 60% chance that it will not attract 100,000 followers.

But people tend to remember correct predictions, and forget incorrect predictions.

And that’s why pundits are so popular.

They are willing to make bold predictions, but many do so using the 40% rule, using such terms as “there is a 40% chance that X is going to happen.”

If they are right, they are hailed as geniuses; if they get it wrong, people tend to forget, or they can claim that they had projected a 60% chance of such an outcome.

It’s a good gig if you can pull it off.

It seems that to be a successful pundit (I just like using that word), you need to have certain characteristics:

  • some level of knowledge on the subject matter
  • a willingness to make a bold prediction
  • an ability to twist the facts so that they are more closely related to the outcome
  • an unwillingness to admit defeat
  • they never provide a firm date as to their prediction

The nice thing about 40% is that you never have to say you were wrong, says Peter Tchir, a market strategist at Academy Securities.

So in keeping with the spirit of this WSJ new story, I thought I would make some bold predictions myself, all of which have a 40% chance of turning out correct:

  • Twitter will become more valuable than Facebook and Google, combined
  • the Phillies will win the world series in a four game sweep
  • it will snow on the 4th of July
  • one Bitcoin will be worth $2,000,000
  • President Trump cites my predictions as fake news

If none of these come true, then I can simply say I told you so.

But imagine if one of them did become true, I’d be the next Michael Lee, the man who predicted in his 1993 yearbook picture that the Chicago Cubs would win the 2016 World Series, which they did.

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