I have seen many white swans in my life, I even fed many of them as Poland is nature-abundant country and swans like to live here. But I have never seen a black swan. I was told they exist, I was even shown pictures, but I have never seen one.
In financial markets black swan is a symbol of a very low likelihood and very high impact event, such as internet bubble crash, Septemeber 11, Asia crisis etc. It is usually thought of as a negative event, for example black swan could “bring” subprime market crash, or black swan could be a collapse of a big hedge fund.
But black swans could be symbols of rapid positive changes too. Take a look at the recent John Mauldin outside the box story about positive disruptive technology that will create the first ever city 2.0. Another example would be an invention that will replace oil as car fuel at lower cost. It will happen one day, it may have already happened.
Let me know what you think about John Mauldin’s story.