Overlooking Quality

“If doctors were required to report on of life instead of tests run, you can bet quality of life would improve faster than the number of tests run does.” — Seth Godin

Doesn’t that sound more like a Nassim Taleb aphorism?

The increasing reliance on number crunching has brought about an oversight of quality in many fields. As someone with a services background myself, I could never be against numbers and quantitative methods. However, they should be used as a rear view mirror — a mechanism of insight that tells us what happened — and help us focus on quality as we move forward, rather than be in an infinite loop of gaining more and more insight.

Quality doesn’t just mean the quality of a product/service delivered to the customer. It is critically important that the quality of a project (even a failed one) be recognized.

An excessive importance to numbers (and big data) has driven even creative types to abandon quality for quantity. Some news sites today prefer over qualified journalism in order to sell more. We no longer see any Mozarts or Beethovens who created music without market research. Sure, the bottom line speaks loudest in any business, but isn’t it also worth taking a risk once in a while by putting our faith in (the albeit often ) quality?

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