Predicting the Life Cycle of a New Product
Jaap de Jonge, Management Consultant, Netherlands
- Computers are better than humans in predicting the future in relatively unambiguous contexts.
- Humans beat computers in highly uncertain contexts.
According to Matthias Seifert and Allègre L. Hadida in "3 Humans + 1 Computer = Best Prediction" (HBR May, 2013), what is even better is combining the 'opinions' from BOTH computers and humans.
A best practice for highly uncertain environments, such as a product launch for a groundbreaking product, is to take 3 experts, average their opinions and combine that with the prediction by the computer, while giving greater weight to the experts opinion.