Lindy Effect

Lindy Effect
Bathtub Curve


The idea that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.


Coined by the writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2012 book "Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder." The term refers to the idea that the life expectancy of certain non-perishable items, such as ideas, technologies, or books, increases over time. The term is named after the Lindy Theater in New York City, where actors and comedians would gather to socialize and perform. The idea was that the longer a show ran, the longer it was likely to continue to run, as it had already survived a certain amount of scrutiny and proven its value to audiences. Taleb argued that the Lindy Effect could be used to predict the longevity of non-perishable items, and that the longer they had been around, the more likely they were to continue to be relevant and useful in the future. The concept has since gained popularity in a variety of fields, including technology, finance, and cultural studies, and has been used to describe the staying power of everything from scientific theories to political ideologies.

Everyday Use

Ever wondered why your grandmother's home remedies for a common cold work better than the latest over-the-counter medicines? That's the Lindy Effect in action. These remedies have stood the test of time, proving their value and increasing their life expectancy. Or consider the books that have been around for generations - the ones that your parents read, and their parents before them. The Lindy Effect suggests that these books are likely to continue being read and appreciated, precisely because they've already survived so long. This concept can also be a tool to navigate the overwhelming world of tech gadgets. Rather than always chasing after the latest trend, the Lindy Effect suggests that technologies which have been around for a while, and have proven their usefulness, are more likely to stick around. So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed by the pace of change, take a step back and apply the Lindy Effect. It might guide you towards choices that are not just popular in the moment, but have a lasting impact.