I saw a VC brag “I only invest in fewer than 1% of the ideas that are pitched to me!” I looked through his portfolio, and most of them made me think “Seriously? You invested in that? What a waste!”
The fallacy is that, even though the VC only invests in 1% of the ideas pitched to him, he may be no better than picking at random.
Suppose that there are more than 100 VCs, each of which randomly invests in 1% of the ideas that are pitched to him. Then, all sorts of stupid ideas will be funded, even though each VC is bragging about how selective he is.
Similarly, many corporations brag “We only hire 1% of the people who submit resumes to us!” If there are more than 100 corporations that do that, they can all brag about how selective they are, even though they’re picking at random (or worse than random). That’s one thing I’m “accomplishing” in my job search. I’m helping other businesses with the illusion of how selective they are.
Just because you only select 1% of the idea or resumes, doesn’t mean you’re brilliant. You may be picking at random, or worse than random.