The Lindy Effect

By Deane Barker

A theory that says the older a non-perishable thing is, the more likely it is to survive into the future. Put another way, long-lived things live for a longer time; recent – and therefore short-lived – things are much more likely to “blow over” or “flame out.”

It was named for a deli in New York were a group of comedians theorized that the more material a comic has, the longer they will remain relevant.

Nassim Taleb discussed it in his book Antifragile:

For the perishable, every additional day in its life translates into a shorter additional life expectancy. For the nonperishable, every additional day may imply a longer life expectancy. […] The robustness of an item is proportional to its life.

Why I Looked It Up

The New York Times ran an article on Lindy in June 2021: The Lindy Way of Living. I read it, then subscribed to the Skallas newsletter discussed within. I’ve also read Taleb’s Antifragile, but didn’t love it.

This is item #361 in a sequence of 696 items.

You can use your left/right arrow keys to navigate