Ten percent of American businesses disappear every year. … It’s far higher than the failure rate of, say, Americans. Ten percent of Americans don’t disappear every year. Which leads us to conclude American businesses fail faster than Americans, and therefore American businesses are evolving faster than Americans.

Tim Harford

Quotation #20209

About This Quote

“Trial, Error and the God Complex.” TEDGlobal 2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation.

Source: "Trial, Error and the God Complex." TEDGlobal 2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: This quote is from economics writer Tim Harford's 2011 TED Talk about something called "The God Complex" and how the scientific process of trial and error is a better alternative for building successful systems. In this quote, Harford is citing American businesses as an example of trial and error at work in the world. The fact that many businesses fail means that people are experimenting in the business arena so that only successful firms thrive -- this means the system is functioning well. Watch the full TED Talk here: Tim Harford - Trial, Error and the God Complex