Were You Born in the Right Order?

I participated in Del Jones’ survey on the position in the family for his article in USA Today. First-born Kids Become CEO Material.

Interesting question and interesting research, I suppose, an example of the problems of correlation and causation. It’s also another example of how much we misuse research in general, because the statistical difference is so irrelevant when you look at specific cases.

I was hoping to get a mention in the survey results, but no luck. I’m the second of four, and my daughter, CEO of Palo Alto Software, is the second of five. I thought that made us both interestingly atypical, but apparently not interesting enough to be included in the story.

Does that make it sort of self-fulfilling research, as in self-fulfilling prophesy? Or just friendly sour grapes?

It’s fun to think about this. Even if you have no action points.



  • Tim Berry says:

    Hi Marula. No, if I had "factitious" it was just a typo, and I've searched this blog and Google without finding where that is. You might have an old post before editing, because sometimes the old pages stay out there after I've caught the typing mistake. The fictitious business name is a legal name for DBA, meaning "doing business as." Now I've done several searches and can't find factitious anywhere except an obscure use, not in any of my work, where it is related to artificial facts. Tim

  • Marula says:

    I've read your article about business names, and I found two words related to it: fictitious business name (or DBA) and fActitious business name. I'd like to know if fActitious is a mistake or means something different from fictitious. If so, please, would you please send a simple definition of both words? I'm doing a translation and I got confused by "factitious" business name.

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