Phrases from the Bhagavad-gita pop up in management tomes and on the Web sites of consultants. Top business schools teach “self-mastery” classes that use Indian methods to help boost managerial and leadership skills while also finding inner peace in a life dominated by work. Twenty years after “Wall Street” we can ask: “Can the Bhagavad-gita compete with “The Art of War” as the new ancient Eastern management text?”

Examples of survivorship bias are noticeable in a wide range of fields, particularly in the business world. Students in business school can recall how unicorn start-ups were commonly applauded within the classroom, serving as an example of what students should strive for — an archetypal symbol of success. Even though Forbes reported that 90% of start-ups fail, entire degrees are dedicated to entrepreneurship, with dozens of students claiming that they will one day found a start-up and become successful.2