📚 Two type of data analytics, Amateur presenter, Purpose of questions, Harmful interventions
+ Bonus Bollywood quiz and a lot of fun finds from across the net
Hi & welcome to the post #134.
A couple of weeks away from my usual schedule, and I am finding it difficult to get back to it. It is a good time to make some changes, I guess.
I am also evaluating some changes in my information diet. I’m looking to try some new topics, sources and writers. Pls send across your recommendations over comment or mails.
Let’s take a quick look at today’s lineup:
🔢 Two type of data analytics
🧑🏫 Amateur presenter
❓ Purpose of questions
💊 Harmful interventions
📈 How economic machine works
📽️ Bollywood quiz
And much more
And now to the goodness of these new ideas.
1. Latest from Lenny’s Podcast
If you’re not already listening to Lenny’s podcast, I’ve got a couple of episodes that you can give a shot to explore it.
Episode with Brian Chesky. It covers diverse topics like - why bureaucracy happens in companies, and how to avoid it, importance of founders diving into the details and how & why to set ambitious goals.
I basically got involved in every single detail. And I basically told leaders that leaders are in the details. And there's this negative term called micromanagement, and I think there's a difference between micromanagement, which is telling people exactly what to do and being in the details. Being the details is what every responsible company's board does to the CEO. That doesn't mean the board is telling them what to do. But if you don't know the details, how do you know people are doing a good job? People think that great leader's job is to hire people and just empower them to do a good job. Well, how do you know they're doing a good job if you're not in the details? And so I made sure I was in the details and we really drove the product.
Episode with Ramesh Johari. It covers all things marketplace - what are they, how to optimize, role of data science in marketplace success and why learning isn’t free.
The moral is a marketplace business never starts as a marketplace business, because what we think of as a marketplace business is something which at scale is removing the friction of the two sides finding each other. But when you start, you don't have that scale.
2. Two Types of Data Analysis
Cedric Chin talks of the following two types of data analysis.
He goes on to highlight the difference in the context at which these two become usable and effective. There are also some tradeoffs that need to be taken into account when we look at the above two approaches. He has shared a good explanation on the same.
Finally, this bit struck a chord with me. I remember “so what?” questions that were thrown my way at the end of many presentations of “consumer research”. This is what those “so what?” question expect us to answer.
I’ve found it super useful to have the entire domain of analysis reduced down to one question: “how is this going to give me knowledge?” Knowledge has predictive power. True knowledge should lead to effective action. So it’s not enough to talk to a customer and go “ok she likes us” or look at a chart and go “oh, so this week we have 5325 visitors to our pricing comparison page” — you have to know why such and such customer likes you (so that you may find more customers like her) or how to make those visitor numbers go up (or if you even want them to go up: do they correlate with increased sales? Do you have — heh — knowledge of this fact?)
3. Amateur Presenter
In “the amateur presenter,” Seth Godin shares how you can create an impact presentation even when you’re not a ‘professional presenter’. This bit is highly noteworthy.
Do you have something to say? If you don’t, stay home and send a memo. But if there’s a story you want to tell, a change you want to make, an impact you want to have, be really clear about what it might be. Simply getting through your presentation relatively unscathed probably isn’t a worthy goal.
4. Questions are not just for asking
This is from Ribbonfarm, and I categorize it in ‘not a light read’. Still, I highly recommend giving this one a read when you have some time.
In “Questions are not just for asking,” Malcolm Ocean presented a totally novel way of thinking about questions. Here’re some snippets that I saved:
The ‘best solutions lie in category “didn’t know I didn’t know,” which means eliminating blind spots is more important than problem solving’.
“A basic principle found throughout human nature is this: Tension seeks resolution.” Effectively working with curiosity involves being able to relax yourself while experiencing a tension of not-knowing, without insisting on immediate resolution. Some questions can be easily answered, but many will take time and non-obvious exploration.
The foundational technique in this essay—a prerequisite to the others—is simply being able to hold questions without asking them. “Hold” has two meanings here, but it’s still essentially one thing. You want to hold off on asking your questions, put them on hold etc. Simultaneously, you need to be able to hold onto your questions, rather than just putting them aside altogether or dissociating from your curiosity.
When you ask a question, it represents a thing you care about knowing… First of all, sharing a question that you have, or articulating it to yourself, helps to direct your own attention towards the hole-in-understanding that that question represents. So it’ll cause you to potentially be more aware of information that could help you answer the question, and it may also give you more affordances for actually *asking the question* of someone at a moment when that makes sense. It may also cause the person you share the question with to share different information later, not necessarily as a direct answer to your question but because they have a better understanding of what you’re interested in.
5. Iatrogenics: Harmful Interventions
Iatrogenics is when a treatment causes more harm than benefit. Shane Parrish used this to warn against possible Iatrogenics-like tendencies of interventions in this short post “Iatrogenics: why intervention often leads to worse outcomes.”
Here’s a snapshot summarizing this argument:
Why would people do something even when the evidence points out that doing something is actually causing more harm?
I can think of a few reasons as to why otherwise well-intentioned people continue to intervene when the consequences outweigh the benefits.
Some of the flaws include 1) an inability to think through problems, 2) separation from consequences, 3) a bias for action, and 4) no skin in the game.
6. Light reads & videos
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio. Goes beyond the usual discussion of demand supply & elasticity curves. It offers a good way to understand the importance ‘credit’ has on the economy and how it interacts with every other aspect.
The Resourceful Life by Venkatesh Rao (Ribbonfarm)
Resourcefulness is a positive syndrome combining patience, conscientiousness, curiosity, attentiveness, and most of all energy. The adjective indefatigable comes to mind. Not only do resourceful people never run out of things to try, they seem to never run out of energy to actually try them. Again and again, often racking up dozens of failed trials before hitting upon a successful one.
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
IWTK shared a fun Diwali Bollywood Quiz a couple of weeks back. Give it a try, it’s a lot of fun. And yes, this is a really cool example of Canva to make an engaging deck.
JAGAS (Instagram: tony.jagas) creates masterpieces by creating chaos with his pen. First see his finished art work and then check out any reel to see how it comes to life!
Manifesto for posting online in 2023. Something to ponder upon.
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.
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