What is it about?
It’s easy to measure the length of your desk or your sales figures but how can you measure security or happiness? Douglas Hubbard helps to measure these intangibles. He shows different problems and how to solve them.
What can I learn?
You don’t need so much information: A general mistake it to think that you need the more information the more uncertain a situation is. Its the other way around. If you think about it, it becomes clear. Let’s say you got a box and don’t know whats in it. If somebody says there are chocolate bars in the box you learned a lot about the content of this box. However, if you opened the box and looked at the chocolate bars and somebody tells you that they used milk from brown cows, you haven’t learned so much important new stuff about the box’s content. This idea is basically used for MVPs: you don’t know much about your customer therefore a bit more knowledge is extremely valuable.
Understand what you want to measure: This is the core point of this book. Let’s get back to the intro and say that we want to measure happiness of our customers about our product. We can’t measure what we haven’t defined. So what should we use? We could ask our customers if they enjoy using our product, if they recommend it to friends or if they brought multiple items as gifts. All these question can serve as an instrument for measuring happiness of our customers about our product.
Meaningful measurements: One problem with lots of companies is that they measure things that are easy to measure but neglect the benefit of measuring it. For example they measure the amount of time each employee works but don’t measure how happy they are. If you measure something, think about its benefits if they don’t have any substantial ones look for new measurements which can really help to improve your operation. The easiest way isn’t always the best way.
Again I divide my conclusion for two user groups. If you have some basics in empirical social research you don’t have to read this book. You already know how to design questionnaires and you should know how to use instruments. Therefore this book haven’t got so much value for you.
If you are new to this kind of stuff, this book will probably be a big eye opener. Hubbard introduces you with lots of examples to important methods in measuring anything. Furthermore, he helps you to understand how to improve your current measurements and how to add new ones. If you are interested in more than this short summary, you should buy this book and dive into a new world.