The problem with this retail revolution

In this Retail Revolution more of the same will get you … more of the same.

It is not about needlessly fiddling with the latest ideas and platforms, it is about progressively adapting to the environment we are in.

This post is an extract from our irregular newsletter: The Winners Circle. (Subscribe  HERE.)

Let’s de-bunk some myths about predicting the future:

Point #1

Human hindsight is often “20-20" but it is beyond human mental limits to really know with much precision what tomorrow will bring. No palm reader, no fortune teller, no astrologer, no forecaster, not even an econometrician, can ever dispel the uncertainty of the future. Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, in Human Action, tells us:

If it were possible to calculate the future state of the market, the future would not be uncertain. There would be neither entrepreneurial loss nor profit. What people expect from the economists is beyond the power of any mortal man.

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Point #2

This must be true because the contrary would completely negate the possibility of action. If man knew future events completely, he would never act, since no act of his could change the situation. Thus, the fact of action signifies that the future is uncertain to the actors.

This uncertainty about future events stems from two basic sources: the unpredictability of human acts of choice and insufficient knowledge about natural phenomena. Man does not know enough about natural phenomena to predict all their future developments, and he cannot know the content of future human choices

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Point #3

As Ludwig von Mises used to point out to those who were tempted to succumb to the razzle- dazzle of economic forecasting: If someone were really able to forecast the economic future, he wouldn't be wasting his time putting out market letters or econometric models. He’d be busy making several trillion dollars forecasting the stock and commodity markets.

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Point #4

I did this exercise and that you may want to try it:

Try find a forecaster who publishes an archive of their predictions – and then specifically one who made predictions 10 or more years ago about the world we live in today (say post 2010).

I could only find a newspaper article. (The forecasters themselves seem to be conspicuous in their absence. One would think that a forecasting firm that has been around for more than 10 years should have some track record that they would be proud to display?