Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Black Swan

Beneath Taleb’s rage and mockery are serious issues. The risk management models in use today exclude the very events against which they claim to protect the businesses that employ them. — Read the complete FT review


Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan is a concept that will change the way you look at the world. Black Swans underlie almost everything, from the rise of religions, to events in our own personal lives. A Black Swan is a highly improbable event with three principle characteristics: it is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. And why do we always ignore the phenomenon of Black Swans until after they occur? As Nassim Nicholas Taleb reveals, we are hard-wired not to truly estimate risk, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the ‘impossible’. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and shows us how to face the world.