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Small Data

Small DataThere are a lot of business books and articles about analytics and big data. It’s the newest “in” thing in the business world. Typically these books and articles warn about being aware of the false correlations that would lead you to think there is a real relationship.

But what if there really is not a whole lot there in the data? At least not yet, while we are in the very beginning stages of the internet of things (IOT). I’ve always wondered if the real meat is residing offline. (Of course, I could be inept at finding clues or patterns in the data.)

Now there is a new book out called Small Data by Martin Lindstrom and I’m in the midst of reading it. This book talks about how the author goes out to the customers’ homes and observes the surroundings and how the customer lives. He basically does an anthropological study of customers.

Reading the book is like reading each country’s culture. Martin Lindstrom is Danish and it is interesting to read his perspectives on American life. It’s basically that Americans really do not have freedom, despite all of our talk about it. It dovetails what a Russian lady once told me during the run up to the Iraq war during 2003: she said we Americans really don’t have freedom – other countries have more freedom than we do. And somehow, I suspected she was right. At that time, there was a lot of talk about war and there was a strong feeling of people keeping silence for fear of being regarded a traitor. (Of course, in hindsight, it may have been the Bush administration that was a traitor. It was a terrible time.)

And now we have this Danish guy saying we really don’t have freedoms.

Anyway, the book is a fascinating read on how he pulls insight from his surroundings and how he applies the insight on developing products and marketing new products.

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