Global race in data science decision-making

On your mark, get set, go 2017! While most folks in the US intuitively understand the pull from abroad, it might surprise them to hear this: I'm finding many overseas companies way ahead of their US counterparts when using data science to improve decision making. It’s real. It’s noticeable. Speaking as an American, it’s even a bit scary. I’ve been guilty…


Business intuition’s blind spot

I saw this YouTube clip explaining why it can seem as if good-looking people are jerks, and why it seems like healthy food always tastes bad. It made me realize the same effects happen in business, and it’s a bad thing. The YouTube video uses a nifty 2x2 matrix, plotting how "nice" people are versus how good looking you find…

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The Democratization of Math

Historically speaking, why haven’t companies used statistics to manage their innovation portfolios? I’ve had this question a lot lately. It’s a great question. Innovation is one of the most risky aspects of business, and statistics are the tools of risk management. Yet for some reason, despite 70% - 90% failure rates and trillions of dollars spent by companies each year in…


Overconfidence, bad models and delusion

How bad can a predictive model be before people abandon it?  Intuitively, most people assume a model or decision process has to be right at least 51% of the time.  However when it comes to innovation and growth investing, people clutch onto models that are dead wrong 70%, 80% and even 99% of the time.  At what point is this…


The Future: bigger companies, faster deaths

There are more huge companies than ever before.  That may surprise you, but if you count the number of companies in the Fortune 500 with $5 billion or more in revenue, you’ll find the number has been growing for decades (even when adjusted for inflation or population growth). While there are more huge companies every year, they’re living ever-shorter lives. …

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Measuring Innovation: The Blind Spot

I was recently at an event where executives from the world’s biggest companies spent hours griping about innovation.  They knew innovation was important, but bemoaned its aversion to hard metrics.  In other words, everyone wanted to better measure, quantify and improve their innovation outputs, but nobody knew how. Some folks believe innovation can’t, or shouldn’t, be measured.  They say things…

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