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The hard part is pinning down the cause of a successful startup. Most people just point at highly visible things, and make a claim like "StartupX is successful because the founders worked extremely hard, the office culture was well-developed, and there were lots of team building activities." The problem is that this ignores the 5,000 other startups that did all those same things, but failed. Perhaps it turns out that StartupX really succeeded because they had a sales guy with lots of good connections, etc.

You have a good point here.

More prevalent in the financial industry, you have a lot of successful retirees who hold talks and write books what kind of tea they drank. Statistically nobody beats the market, so these people had very likely just luck.

Causation is not relation, everybody knows that. But it is damn hard to figure out what and often the people themselves are biased. I would say a big percentage of tips you get this way are totally useless, but to figure out which one of them depends on your judgement.

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