Six Rules for Effective Forecasting


An amazingly in depth article by Long Now board member Paul Saffo on the intracacies of Forecasting appeared in the July 07 Harvard Business Review. The whole issue entitled Going The Distance is about long term thinking in the business realm and is highly recommended. Below are some highlights of Paul’s forcasting article…

The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present.

Rule 1: Define a Cone of Uncertainty
Rule 2: Look for the S Curve
Rule 3: Embrace the Things That Don’t Fit
Rule 4: Hold Strong Opinions Weakly
Rule 5: Look Back Twice as Far as You Look Forward
Rule 6: Know When Not to Make a Forecast


Cone of Uncertainty graphic from the sidebar in the article.

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