Trust Data, Not Instinct
Businesses will learn harsh but valuable truths if they subject new ideas to controlled experiments, says Microsoft's Ronny Kohavi.
You know that great idea you have for improving your business? Ronny Kohavi, an architect at Microsoft's Online Services division, says there's good reason to suspect it's actually lousy. Software industry studies show that when ideas people thought would succeed are evaluated through controlled experiments, less than 50 percent actually work out. At Microsoft, Kohavi devoted himself to winning others to his cause as he built his experimentation platform. He staged events — such as offering a shirt for correctly guessing the outcome of experiments. He didn't have to give out a single shirt. Intuition never matched data.
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Quoth the parrot — "Nevermore."
- Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1949) is considered one of America's great writers.
- Poe penned his most famous poem, The Raven, in his 30s.
- Originally, the poem's feathered subject was a bit flamboyant.
Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.
- An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
- Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
- Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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