Most of us are optimists, which might make us better company at the dinner table, but it means we are lousy at predicting the future.
A case in point is the famous Sydney Opera House, which was commissioned in 1957 with an expected completion date of 1963 and a budget of $7 million Australian dollars.
The building wasn’t finished until 1973, and only after the most ambitious versions of the plan had been scaled back, for a final cost of $102 million.
We underestimate the amount of time a project will require. If it’s a project that has a budget, we underestimate the expense as well.