February 14, 2008

Lame Excuses

I love to pick on the research industry. They're so full of shit. They make proclamations with such certainty. And then backtrack so timidly.

The researchers who were all so wrong in New Hampshire, wrong in California, wrong everywhere else this primary season are looking for reasons why they were so wrong. (Remember just a few months ago when Hillary and Rudy were locks to be the candidates? When McCain was dead?)

The excuse I like best is that people changed their minds and didn't do what they said they'd do.

The question I have is this: How can you be a researcher and not know that people don't do what they say they're going to do? How clueless do you have to be not to know this? How can you be a professional researcher and still take what people say at face value?

And how can we in business possibly be expected to take what you say seriously about consumer motivation -- which requires subtle analysis and interpretation -- when you can't even count correctly?

(For more on this, see Research Knuckleheads)

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