Success and luck in creative careers

Published on Dec 1, 2020in EPJ Data Science3.262
· DOI :10.1140/EPJDS/S13688-020-00227-W
Milan Janosov2
Estimated H-index: 2
(CEU: Central European University),
Federico Battiston12
Estimated H-index: 12
(CEU: Central European University),
Roberta Sinatra17
Estimated H-index: 17
(ITU: IT University of Copenhagen)
Luck is considered a crucial ingredient to achieve impact in all creative domains, despite their diversity. For instance, in science, the movie industry, music, and art, the occurrence of the highest impact work and a hot streak within a creative career are very difficult to predict. Are there domains that are more prone to luck than others? Here, we provide new insights on the role of randomness in impact in creative careers in two ways: (i) we systematically untangle luck and individual ability to generate impact in the movie, music, and book industries, and in science, and compare the luck factor between these fields; (ii) we show the surprising presence of randomness in the relationship between collaboration networks and timing of career hits. Taken together, our analysis suggests that luck consistently affects career impact across all considered sectors and improves our understanding in pinpointing the key elements in driving success.
  • References (49)
  • Citations (3)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
1 Author (Martin Gubler)
4 Citations
1 Author (Jean Pralong)
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Milan Janosov (CEU: Central European University)H-Index: 2
#2Federico Musciotto (CEU: Central European University)H-Index: 5
Last. Gerardo Iñiguez (UNAM: National Autonomous University of Mexico)H-Index: 9
view all 4 authors...
While the emergence of success in creative professions, such as music, has been studied extensively, the link between individual success and collaboration is not yet fully uncovered. Here we aim to fill this gap by analyzing longitudinal data on the co-releasing and mentoring patterns of popular electronic music artists appearing in the annual Top 100 ranking of DJ Magazine. We find that while this ranking list of popularity publishes 100 names, only the top 20 is stable over time, showcasing a ...
3 CitationsSource
#1Alessandro Pluchino (University of Catania)H-Index: 22
#2G. F. Burgio (University of Catania)H-Index: 14
Last. Toni Giorgino (University of Milan)H-Index: 20
view all 7 authors...
Although interdisciplinarity is often touted as a necessity for modern research, the evidence on the relative impact of sectorial versus to interdisciplinary science is qualitative at best. In this paper we leverage the bibliographic data set of the American Physical Society to quantify the role of interdisciplinarity in physics, and that of talent and luck in achieving success in scientific careers. We analyze a period of 30 years (1980-2009) tagging papers and their authors by means of the Phy...
5 CitationsSource
#1Oliver E. Williams (QMUL: Queen Mary University of London)H-Index: 2
#2Lucas Lacasa (QMUL: Queen Mary University of London)H-Index: 19
Last. Vito LatoraH-Index: 63
view all 3 authors...
In certain artistic endeavours—such as acting in films and TV, where unemployment rates hover at around 90%—sustained productivity (simply making a living) is probably a better proxy for quantifying success than high impact. Drawing on a worldwide database, here we study the temporal profiles of activity of actors and actresses. We show that the dynamics of job assignment is well described by a “rich-get-richer” mechanism and we find that, while the percentage of a career spent active is unpredi...
7 CitationsSource
#1Thomas L. Williams (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 3
#2Stephen L. Senft (MBL: Marine Biological Laboratory)H-Index: 5
Last. Leila F. Deravi (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 11
view all 17 authors...
Chromatophore organs in cephalopod skin are known to produce ultra-fast changes in appearance for camouflage and communication. Light-scattering pigment granules within chromatocytes have been presumed to be the sole source of coloration in these complex organs. We report the discovery of structural coloration emanating in precise register with expanded pigmented chromatocytes. Concurrently, using an annotated squid chromatophore proteome together with microscopy, we identify a likely biochemica...
18 CitationsSource
#1Maksim Kunitski (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 20
#2Nicolas Eicke (Leibniz University of Hanover)H-Index: 7
Last. Reinhard Doerner (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 3
view all 16 authors...
Wave-particle duality is an inherent peculiarity of the quantum world. The double-slit experiment has been frequently used for understanding different aspects of this fundamental concept. The occurrence of interference rests on the lack of which-way information and on the absence of decoherence mechanisms, which could scramble the wave fronts. Here, we report on the observation of two-center interference in the molecular-frame photoelectron momentum distribution upon ionization of the neon dimer...
671 CitationsSource
#1Olga ZagovoraH-Index: 1
#2Katrin WellerH-Index: 13
Last. Isabella PetersH-Index: 17
view all 5 authors...
Do only major scientific breakthroughs hit the news and social media, or does a 'catchy' title help to attract public attention? How strong is the connection between the importance of a scientific paper and the (social) media attention it receives? In this study we investigate these questions by analysing the relationship between the observed attention and certain characteristics of scientific papers from two major multidisciplinary journals: Nature Communication (NC) and Proceedings of the Nati...
3 CitationsSource
#1Alessandro Pluchino (University of Catania)H-Index: 22
#2Alessio Emanuele Biondo (University of Catania)H-Index: 9
Last. Andrea Rapisarda (University of Catania)H-Index: 27
view all 3 authors...
The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western cultures is rooted on the belief that success is mainly due, if not exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intel...
21 CitationsSource
#1Gábor Vásárhelyi (MTA: Hungarian Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 10
#2Csaba Virágh (ELTE: Eötvös Loránd University)H-Index: 6
Last. Tamás Vicsek (MTA: Hungarian Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 65
view all 6 authors...
We address a fundamental issue of collective motion of aerial robots: how to ensure that large flocks of autonomous drones seamlessly navigate in confined spaces. The numerous existing flocking models are rarely tested on actual hardware because they typically neglect some crucial aspects of multirobot systems. Constrained motion and communication capabilities, delays, perturbations, or the presence of barriers should be modeled and treated explicitly because they have large effects on collectiv...
48 CitationsSource
#1Lu Liu (Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology)H-Index: 1
#2Yang Wang (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 1
Last. Dashun Wang (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 18
view all 6 authors...
The hot streak—loosely defined as ‘winning begets more winnings’—highlights a specific period during which an individual’s performance is substantially better than his or her typical performance. Although hot streaks have been widely debated in sports1,2, gambling3–5 and financial markets6,7 over the past several decades, little is known about whether they apply to individual careers. Here, building on rich literature on the lifecycle of creativity8–22, we collected large-scale career histories ...
31 CitationsSource
#1Burcu Yucesoy (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 6
#2Xindi Wang (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 1
Last. Albert-La szlo Baraba siH-Index: 120
view all 4 authors...
Reading remains the preferred leisure activity for most individuals, continuing to offer a unique path to knowledge and learning. As such, books remain an important cultural product, consumed widely. Yet, while over 3 million books are published each year, very few are read widely and less than 500 make it to the New York Times bestseller lists. And once there, only a handful of authors can command the lists for more than a few weeks. Here we bring a big data approach to book success by investig...
16 CitationsSource
Cited By3
#1Chong Wu (CityU: City University of Hong Kong)
#2Zhenan Feng (China University of Geosciences)
Last. Houwang Zhang (China University of Geosciences)
view all 4 authors...
In this paper, we want to find out whether gender bias will affect the success and whether there are some common laws driving the success in show business. We design an experiment, set the gender and productivity of an actor or actress in a certain period as the independent variables, and introduce deep learning techniques to do the prediction of success, extract the latent features, and understand the data we use. Three models have been trained: the first one is trained by the data of an actor,...
Thanks to the availability of large online data sets, it has become possible to quantify success in different fields of human endeavour. The study presented here contributes to this literature in evaluating the effect of social media activity, as a means of 'self-branding', to increase the chances of models being elected for the Playboy Magazine's Playmate of the Year award. We hypothesise that candidates who actively manage their Instagram accounts can increase their likelihood to win the award...
In the recent article Janosov, Battiston, & Sinatra report that they separated the inputs of talent and luck in creative careers. They build on the previous work of Sinatra et al which introduced the Q-model. Under the model the popularity of different elements of culture is a product of two factors: a random factor and a Qfactor, or talent. The latter is fixed for an individual but randomly distributed among different people. This way they explain how some individuals can consistently produce h...