A Rationalist Responds to Godin’s Blog Post “Are You Rational?”

http://sauguschamberofcommerce.com/directory/name/drinkwater-asphalt-paving-co/vcard/ In his recent post Are You Rational?, Seth Godin makes a broad argument that nobody is rational all the time (true enough): that some decisions fall squarely within the domain of  rational methods (e.g., analyzing your Adwords click-thru rate) while other things are best approached irrationally: falling in love, appreciating music or wine, or generating ideas for new businesses and startups.  He goes on to say that “irrational passion is the key change agent of our economy.”  Simply put, he proposes that there are entire domains of human endeavor  that are better managed  with the  “gut” — a common belief and arguably a staple of American culture itself.

A great professor once told me, “If a good essay is one that’s fun to argue with, yours is a great essay.”  It’s in this spirit that I can’t resist offering a counterpoint to Godin.  My argument: that passion and irrationality are two different things.  Passion has place, but the time when it was OK to “go with your gut” is well behind us. Continue reading “A Rationalist Responds to Godin’s Blog Post “Are You Rational?””

Why “The One Number You Need To Grow” is one number you should probably avoid

In 2003, Frederick Reichheld published a Harvard Business Review article entitled The One Number You Need to Grow.  Reichheld’s article described a method for computing a simple, easy-to-understand customer satisfaction metric called the Net Promoter Score — and ushered in a flavor-of-the-month management practice that has left a bad taste in the mouth of academics and serious marketing researchers Continue reading “Why “The One Number You Need To Grow” is one number you should probably avoid”

Is the online dating industry propping up Google’s ad revenue numbers?

A few days ago, Frédéric Peters (Cupidon at Cupidon.be) posted an interesting question to the LinkedIn’s Internet Dating Executive Alliance group: Given the oft-cited success of the online dating industry, what percentage of Google’s ad revenue is driven by the online dating industry?

Based on Frédéric’s question, I felt compelled to run a quick back-of-the-envelope estimate of the share of Google’s ad revenue contributed by the U.S. online dating industry based on Continue reading “Is the online dating industry propping up Google’s ad revenue numbers?”