Post with Both Sidebars

Sometimes, we can’t measure what we need, so we invent a proxy, something that’s much easier to measure and stands in as an approximation.

TV advertisers, for example, could never tell which viewers would be impacted by an ad, so instead, they measured how many people saw it. Or a model might not be able to measure beauty, but a bathroom scale was a handy stand in.

A business person might choose cash in the bank as a measure of his success at his craft, and a book publisher, unable to easily figure out if the right people are engaging with a book, might rely instead on a rank on a single bestseller list. One last example: the non-profit that uses money raised as a proxy for difference made.

You’ve already guessed the problem. Once you find the simple proxy and decide to make it go up, there are lots of available tactics that have nothing at all to do with improving the very thing you set out to achieve in the first place. When we fall in love with a proxy, we spend our time improving the proxy instead of focusing on our original (more important) goal instead.

Gaming the system is never the goal. The goal is the goal.

By Seth Godin.

Leave a Reply

Except where expressly stated to the contrary all persons (including their names and images), third party trademarks and images of third party products, services and/or locations viewed on this Website are in no way associated, linked or affiliated with CandelasConcerns.com and you should not rely on the existence of such a connection or affiliation. Any trade marks/names featured on this Website are owned by the respective trade mark owners. Where a trade mark or brand name is referred to it is used solely to describe or identify the products and services and is in no way an assertion that such products or services are endorsed by or connected to CandelasConcerns.com.