Friday, December 07, 2007
Strategy Isn't Spreadsheets, Facebook Edition
So a couple of days ago I noted that relying on pure data isn't a substitute for thinking strategically - especially when it comes to business designs dominated by increasing returns.
Strategy isn't spreadsheets - basic economics should give us the hypotheses we look to data to (dis)confirm, not the other way around.
As it turns out, I was on the money - Facebook's big jump in usage last month was likely due to Beacon inflating visits by counting iframes on partner sites.
Lol. Vive la revolucion, once every hundred years, etc.
Whether or not Facebook is "dead" - and I agree, it isn't - the point is: data (dis)confirms hypotheses. It's the hypotheses that count - not the data.
And that's doubly true in the edgeconomy, where data is often inherently inaccurate (measuring the wrong thing rightly), or inherently invalid (measuring the right thing wrongly). This is a near-perfect example of both.
Look. This is happening altogether too frequently these days - not just about Facebook, but across many different discussions.
This kind of non-debate is what's made boardrooms so toxic (ie, people go waaay too far to then "make" the numbers = macropocalypse).
It shouldn't happen at all in the blogosphere - and it should be a bit of an alarm bell to you when people wave big!! numbers!! around - but fail to put any real logic behind them.
Nice catch, Erick.
just found your blog.. Nice posts. :)