The Power of Tail Events: Three Takeaways for Companies

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

May 31, 20232 min read


The Power of Tail Events: Three Takeaways for Companies

In today's world, anything that is huge, profitable, famous, or influential is often the result of a tail event. However, most of our attention goes to these outliers, which causes us to underestimate how rare and powerful they truly are. As a result, we must be comfortable with a lot of stuff not working, and this is especially true for companies. Companies need to learn how to fail well in order to succeed.

One key takeaway from this is that visibility into high-level objectives and goals is inconsistent. A recent product insights report found that the more full-time employees a company has, the less likely product team members are to say they “have a strong understanding” of the product vision. This lack of clarity can hinder a team's ability to work effectively towards a common goal.

Granting autonomy is a useful tool for motivating and engaging teams, especially for product teams. The same report found that teams with “very high” autonomy are nearly 5x as likely to say they’re engaged at work when compared to teams with “very low to slightly low” autonomy. Autonomy not only benefits the team but also has a positive impact on the overall business.

In order to succeed, companies must learn to balance autonomy with a clear vision and objectives. While granting autonomy can be beneficial, it is important to ensure that the team is working towards a common goal. Companies must also be comfortable with failure and learn how to fail well. By doing so, they can learn from their mistakes and ultimately succeed.

In conclusion, the power of tail events can be seen in the success of many companies, but it is important not to underestimate how rare and powerful they truly are. Companies must prioritize a clear vision and objectives while also granting autonomy to their teams. Additionally, they must learn to fail well in order to succeed. By doing so, they can create a culture that fosters innovation and ultimately achieves success.


  1. "Tails, You Win", (Glasp)
  2. "Three takeaways from the 2022 product insights report", (Glasp)

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