athletes love numbers. if you follow, or played, baseball there might be no other sport with such a fascination (read: obsession) for numbers.
miles run. laps swum. heart rate. VO2 max levels. intervals done. tackles made and percentage of free throws made. you name the sport, athletes have a number to obsess over.
in endurance sports like cycling, running or swimming this obsession is no different. But we also get fidgety around perceived effort – in other words, our fancy gadgets and instruments tell us we have reason to believe we’re about to pass out, but if we listen to our body’s signals, we think we can keep going another 45 miles, faster, and harder.
The tough thing is reconciling this value on gadgetry with our desire and wish to trust our perceived efforts…. our own perception of what is real.
Not surprisingly, this exists in business too.
Starting a company is filled with constant focus on numbers; users per month, page views, shirts sold per month, inventory remaining, new members, customer acquisition costs, and so on and so forth. Even deciding on which numbers to watch is based on yet another set of numbers.
But there’s always your gut. And in business, there is no more villified source of information than your gut.
My un-researched, from the gut (and a healthy wad of experience) response: Our own guts, our perceptions about what is real, need to provide balance to the numbers held in such high regard in business. And one fun [albeit over-used] example of this is the practices of the late and revered Steve Jobs: Do you really think doing a focus group would have resulted in the ipod, iphone or ipad?
Asking customers what they want doesn’t always result in a magical, revolutionary, or particularly inventive solution.
Sometimes, you just have to listen to your gut.
And ignore the gadgetry.
Onward and upward, always.