On vision and decisions making

I recently favourited (or is it loved now?) a post on Twitter which linked to a dissection of an interaction between Steve Jobs and a disgruntled developed back in the late 90s.

Whilst the article goes through the detail of the entire response, there were two passages that I was taken by:

you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but clearly Jobs was very set in his path and delivered on what his vision was.  How often can we say the people we work for, our competitors and other companies in general have the same steadfast nature?  The same clarity in strategy?  Too often business thinks in the short term and the long game can’t be clearly seen.

and some mistakes will be made, by the way. Some mistakes will be made along the way. That’s good. Because at least some decisions are being made along the way.

The key element is the last sentence on that passage.  To make tough decisions take guts.  You have to have the balls and conviction that you are making the right decision at that point in time, with the information you have to hand. You’ll get it wrong and sometimes you don’t have enough information, but to NOT make a decision can be more detrimental than making the wrong one.

 

In any case, if you want to see the whole exchange, it’s below

 

When number crunchers go rogue

Now, I like my infographics.  In fact you can see a bunch of them on one of the pages on this blog, but only I saw one today that I simply cannot believe.  It was on this article and the infographic is below:

SocialMediaGlobal

I simply cannot believe that mobile penetration is 91% and that only 600m people don’t have one. Penetration and subscriptions are two very different metrics – one is the number of contracts out there, the other is the number of actual people who have phones.  I know many people with 2 or more phones (and therefore contracts) so this number to me feels grossly inflated by over-consumption in the Western world.

A similar feat of maths blindness comes in the shape of social networks.  Frig me, pretty soon we are going to have more people on social networks than people who have internet connection.  How can this be?  Simple really, if you are active on social media, more than likely you will have one account for one and one account for another so there is probably a large amount of duplication here.

The premise of the story the infographic is trying to tell I have no issue with, but it’s where they use the figures to tell an incomplete/incorrect story that pisses me off.