The 2-Man Shop Counter-arguement
“you need to rework this morning’s blog to apply to a 2-man startup shop. They’ve zero time/budget for navigating data oceans” – A friend by way of twitter
I’m not one of those people that’s going to say every decision requires a data input. It doesn’t.
We make hundreds of decisions a day when running a business – there literally isn’t enough time, even with very efficient data access processes – for any organization to consider every single input. Just as your brain is programmed with a self-preserving ignorance – it doesn’t process every single input, actively, a two man shop would operate in much the same way. Ignorance can be optimal sometimes. The laws of Recency and Anchor and Adjust are at play.
I’ll say though that that two man startup shop should be consulting data when making huge decisions.
For instance, when making decisions on entering a market, or pursuing a client – analytical inputs and methods are important. When you’re deciding the shortest path between your current location and a port, it helps to have instrumentation and a map. You wouldn’t navigate from Panama to New Zealand on ‘gut’ alone. You’d certainly use your gut to see and avoid that massive wave off of port.
The world is not filled with statisticians or web analysts, and it’s irrational to expect everybody can or will become somewhat educated about analytics. You don’t want everybody to be analytical. But, you’d certainly want that two-man shop to have the knowledge that they can reach out to an analytics specialist to confirm or reject their gut.
I hope that clarifies.
One thought on “The 2-Man Shop Counter-arguement”
I think the murkiness of this response reveals just how inadequate existing analytics technique/discourse is for nano-scale, new-idea, new-market operations. I follow some of the articles you and your compatriots post on various WA blogs and the big iron, appeal-to-CIO angle strikes me again and again: Not everyone is working for or at fortune 500 companies with years of data and mountains of customer data flows. That’s not where tomorrow’s most interesting analytics-driven successes will come from, unless your definition of interesting is a single-digit percentage incremental improvement of one variable somewhere. There are smaller organizations out there looking to discover the future’s successes at the nano-level, where they are most fluid and nimble. Their data sets are still small or non-existent, and their risks extremely high.
And that’s the elephant in the room here: WA would seem to rely on an unattainably-high minimum threshold of existing information, existing customers, and historical momentum to generate valuable insights. There are many thousands of organizations and speculative/risky business ideas which could generate explosive growth and the creation of whole new markets if only they could harness this type of momentum, but we might be in chicken-egg territory here.
I challenge you to refute the following: there may be no truly useful involvement of WA for micro-businesses with no pre-existing data or even market, and that to claim so would be relying on very noisy data (i.e. that of a few testers).
How do you permeate “data-driven insight culture” into the nano-scale ?
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