Down with the Murphy’s Law!


I have been living for over two years in Switzerland, where things work with the tedious predictability of a clock. The train scheduled to arrive at  15.03h will be there at 15.03h. There are no surprises. Everything that can be predictable is foreseen. Even the rain forecast is precise. For all my personal and businesses tendency, I question myself about the effect of this environment on innovation and the development of disruptive technologies.

Obviously, we take our country, Brazil, as comparison,   Reality, in our country, seems to be regulated by the Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will ”. The unpredictability seems to be the only thing predictable. Perhaps the worse is already over. I can still remember when companies received the IOB daily, a sheaf as thick as a long novel that showed all the updates in laws, regulations, norms,  them on the changes in laws, norms, rules, etc.

Brazil has improved a lot In recent years though. But the fact remains that the unpredictability in the country’s everyday life invigorates from time to time. The examples in the economy, health and politics at the moment are so many that it is not necessary to list them. The point I propose to reflect on is: to what extent this generalized unpredictability prevents us from establishing a culture of innovation and securing the country economically?

By experience, we know that our frequent familiarity with things that  insist on going wrong feeds a low morale, which we call the “mutt complex”. On the other extreme, we see the over optimistic spirits who believe that a generalized mess can stimulate people’s creativity – we, Brazilians, are  the kings of the “jeitinho” or the “Brazilian knack”. As caricatures, the two versions are probably somewhat true. But I believe that the negative aspects of unpredictability exceed the positive and consume the people and companies’ vital energy.

How can we overcome these obstacles and replicate in Brazil the ecosystem of startups, companies focused on the technology and exploration of new markets, a movement that mobilizes the youngsters in countries such as Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel? What to do to transform the culture of soccer or catwalk as ascension target into a culture of innovation, accomplishment and progress among our youth?

Knowing the national culture, it would be naive to wish for a society where predictability skirts boredom. But we can and must rebel against the cult of error. We would instead do well in promoting a disruptive change to impose a new national rule: from now on, if something can go right, it will. We should proclaim, as watchword: Down with the Murphy’s Law!

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