16According to Bazovsky (pp. 275-276), the first reliability principle adopted by the design team was that the system could be no more reliable than its least-reliable (weakest) component. While this is technically true, the mistake was to assume that the system would be as reliable as its weakest component (i.e. the “chain” would be exactly as strong as its weakest link). This proved to be too optimistic, as the system would still fail due to the failure of “stronger” components even when the “weaker” components happened to survive. After noting the influence of “stronger” components’ unreliabilities on overall system reliability, engineers somehow reached the bizarre conclusion that system reliability was equal to the mathematical average of the components’ reliabilities. Not surprisingly, this proved even less accurate than the “weakest link” principle. Finally, the designers were assisted by the mathematician Erich Pieruschka, who helped formulate Lusser’s Law.