So THAT's what makes a good business!

Those of you who enjoy silly corporate-sponsored formulae (read the Guardian's Ben Goldacre enthusiastically sounding off on the subject here) should have fun with this one, released by... can't tell you yet actually, as it's under embargo until Thursday (but I couldn't wait).

Those of you who enjoy silly corporate-sponsored formulae (read the Guardian's Ben Goldacre enthusiastically sounding off on the subject here) should have fun with this one, released by... can't tell you yet actually, as it's under embargo until Thursday (but I couldn't wait).

OK, so here goes. Apparently, the formula for a successful small business is: S = (c√ P + L/150 + 2.3F) / [1 + (Y-1)2 ]. "c" is the percentage of the business that's under your control, "P" is the percentage of people whose lives can potentially be improved by your service or product, "L" is the number of miles your business is north of London (I promise I'm not making this up), "F" is the gender adjustment figure (not a transgender thing, but 1 if female, 0 if male - cheers), "Y" is the number of years mulling the project over before actually going and doing it, and "S" is - obviously - success.

This was painstakingly worked out by an genuine statistician/industrial psychologist who was categorically not whoring out his profession to get his name in the headlines.

Anyway, the press release also reveals that "women are out performing men" (surely missing a hyphen there?) and are "much more likely to enjoy seamless growth". And, believe it or not, "greed [is] no longer seen as a key driver for business success".

Consider yourself enlightened.

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