Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mathematical Induction

Iron is a metal, it enlarges with heat. So does copper, magnesium, sodium ... OK lets just conclude that all metals enlarges with heat.

You form a rule or a formula and prove it with a set of examples. If you didn't find an example that contradicts your rule, you win. That's Mathematical Induction.

We do that in business too. We know deep inside its not 100% correct, but it helps in making decisions.

E.g. We bought 5 HP Laptops for our company. All of them constantly stuck showing the BSOD. It seems they can't handle our Software. That's it no HP Laptops anymore for our business.

Now I'm not saying this induction is correct but we tend to use it all the time. Its kinda related to a post a wrote about inertia.


  1. Yes Hussein, we do. And we do it all the time.

    It makes salesmen (and inventors etc.) do their best EVERY time - unless, people won't buy the product(s).

    I guess this is a huge difficulty for many, both salesmen and inventors.

    If you have one bad product, your whole company might find itself in a quite hard position - they won't sell.

  2. @Andres
    Right, having one small thing can make a general judgment.

    So now I hate HP laptops because I faced problems with few of them. But I like their printers..

  3. @Hussein, that is a reasonable conclusion. It may not be absolutely correct, as you said, but doing a more in-depth study might not be feasible. So, it is easier just to make the presumption and avoid using the brand. As an added benefit, the vendor might try to improve their product if people are not buying.

    @Anders, it is difficult indeed. It is said that a glass of perfectly potable water ceases to be so if even only a tiny amount of dirt is mixed in.

  4. @Cody
    "So, it is easier just to make the presumption and avoid using the brand" Correct.

    Vendors see whats wrong and try to fix it when their customers cease to buy their product.


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