Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
For instance, you are new to business, but have a innovative product that you are 50%confident of making a business empire out of it. According to the rule, chances are that if you ACTUALLY work on the idea, there is a 90% probability that you will not make something big out of it.
Why is this so?
Because there will be alot of obstacles that you are ignorant of before you embark into unchartered waters.
An inventor is not a businessman. Act of God, government policy and red tape, inefficiency, cultures, competition, sabotage, trust issues, copyright, piracy, theft, marketing issues, guan xi (relationship) etc… there will be plenty of problems that will stumble on his way.
So how do you increase the probability of succeeding?
NEVER go about solving a problem on your own, be it about work, life or health. Get a mentor who is versed in the topic you are dealing with. The mentor can be someone who is versed in the situation you are in, or could even be a potential customer of your product. A good way to get mentors is to join relevant associations or network with experts you befriend online.
If you are embarking on something new, its best not to reinvent the wheel of mistakes that you could avoid by listening and reading up. If you are getting a flat, getting married, or going to some country for the first time, you can also read up from the Internet.
Same goes for those patent ideas you might have. Someone else in another part of the world could have independently come up with some similar ideas. While being excited about your creation, the last thing you want to have is to be sued for modifying someone else's ideas (without knowing someone else has thought of it), or selling something that is sold cheaper and more readily on the Net.
Ask more, and work less.
Spend more time, and end up paying less cash.
Or if you are down with cancer and have a 50-50 chance to survive, go find out what cancer survivors did to beat the odds.
Do not doubt the power of DUPLICATION – the art of picking up (or copying) best practises from experts. That will greatly increase your chances of success.
Make 50-50-90 a 50-50-50, or something much better.