‘Anthropic Coincidences’ in a Success Story

The other day I was musing over a couple of success stories at my work place related to introduction of two critical products in the market.
To put it in a nutshell,the markets cried for the product,specified the target cost,R&D responded with a very cost effective and viable product with the right quality attributes,customers accepted the same after thorough trials,Manufacturing plant developed the infrastructure to produce the right quality consistently etc etc.
Although the whole story could be captured in one sentence,it struck me suddenly that so many things had to fall in place for the story to be successful! I could list out readily some of the factors below:
– R&D has to have the right kind of expertise to crack the problem
– The plant has to have the right kind of hardware to manufacture
– Quality Control should understand and implement the right quality parameters
-Customer should have the right temperament,patience and faith in the company to take up trials in preference to an imported product
– The product should have the right market size and business volume to be of sufficient interest to the company intending to manufacture.
– the business should fit into the corporate philosophy of the company.

The list is indeed endless. Each one of these factors is critical, as failure of any one of them could potentially turn it into a story of failure.
And just as the above list is endless,there are endless success stories too in the world. And each story is sure to leave us wondering as to how some of those highly unlikely events had taken place at all in the first place.
This is explained by an interesting concept called ‘Anthropic principle’,which states that occurrence of several events leading up to to a unique result is proof enough that all those events have indeed taken place,however low their probability of occurrence may be. Occurrence of those events is often referred to as ‘Anthropic coincidences’.

The reason why I am talking about ‘Anthropic principle’ here is that this interesting concept is widely used in explaining scientific theories. Quite interestingly,this principle is used by cosmologists to explain the ‘Big Bang theory’ of creation of the universe. I will explain this principle(in laymen’s terms) in relation to Big Bang theory in the next post.

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Published in: on August 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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