Why do gigantic companies made up of insanely intelligent people make bad decisions? Because they rely on persuasion and PowerPoint Cook says not...
Beth Kanter's insight:
WHY DO GIGANTIC COMPANIES MADE UP OF INSANELY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE MAKE BAD DECISIONS? BECAUSE THEY RELY ON PERSUASION AND POWERPOINT, COOK SAYS, NOT EXPERIMENTATION.
There's a pattern here. Both companies make much better decisions because they don't rely on hierarchy, PowerPoint, persuasion. They're making decisions based on real experiments. So I said, wait a minute. Whenever reasonable, let's move from decisions by persuasion to decisions by experiment.
WHAT EXPERIMENTATION DOES
Three things happen. One, you make better decisions because it's actually real consumers or real production methods that aren't based on theory or a PowerPoint. It's based on real results. That's one.
Two, you enable your most junior people to test their best ideas, and when in you're doing PowerPoint presentations, whose ideas are most likely to get lost?
The third is, you get surprises more often, and surprises are a key source of innovation. You only get a surprise when you are trying something and the result is different than you expected, so the sooner you run the experiment, the sooner you are likely to find a surprise, and the surprise is the market speaking to you, telling you something you didn't know. Several of our businesses here came out of surprises.
It is easier than ever to measure and monitor people and machines, but the technology of Big Data is not without its shortcomings.
Beth Kanter's insight:
It’s encouraging that thoughtful data scientists like Ms. Perlich and Ms. Schutt recognize the limits and shortcomings of the Big Data technology that they are building. Listening to the data is important, they say, but so is experience and intuition. After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?
Introduction to Data Science is a class at Columbia University in the Department of Statistics. The course was designed and taught by Dr. Rachel Schutt in the Fall of 2012. The course is being team taught in the Fall of 2013 by Dr. Schutt and Dr. Kayur Patel.