Millions from both sides of the political aisle – including the pollsters and pundits who predicted a Clinton victory – are understandably flummoxed by the outcome of the recent presidential election. How did so many get it so wrong? And for our purposes, can any of these lessons extend to those of us in the business of private equity investing?
As it turns out, the answer to both of these questions lies less in the polling data political experts used to (incorrectly) predict the election’s results, and more in the habits of conventional thinking and biases through which they collected and viewed that data.
For starters, remember that not everyone was surprised. A small minority of voices were arguing that Clinton and the Democrats were trusting in long-held beliefs which led to a kind of blind optimism. In other words, the biases baked into their beliefs were sufficient to dispel any doubt – even from those critical voices who warned of problems.
Consider, for a moment, the words of a Philadelphia bartender, who warned that even […]