Success and luck in creative careers

Milán Janosov, Federico Battiston, Roberta Sinatra

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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, theoccurrence of the highest impact work and a hot streak within a creative career arevery 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 careersin two ways: (i) we systematically untangle luck and individual ability to generateimpact in the movie, music, and book industries, and in science, and compare theluck factor between these fields; (ii) we show the surprising presence of randomnessin the relationship between collaboration networks and timing of career hits. Takentogether, our analysis suggests that luck consistently affects career impact across allconsidered sectors and improves our understanding in pinpointing the key elementsin driving success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEPJ Data Science
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020


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