How to Measure Anything Quotes

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How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business by Douglas W. Hubbard
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How to Measure Anything Quotes Showing 1-30 of 55
“If a measurement matters at all, it is because it must have some conceivable effect on decisions and behaviour. If we can't identify a decision that could be affected by a proposed measurement and how it could change those decisions, then the measurement simply has no value”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business
“As far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. —Albert Einstein (1879–1955)”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“It is better to be approximately right than to be precisely wrong. —Warren Buffett”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is based on the idea of approximation. If a man tells you he knows a thing exactly, then you can be safe in inferring that you are speaking to an inexact man. —Bertrand Russell”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science. —Lord Kelvin (1824–1907),”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Rule of Five There is a 93.75% chance that the median of a population is between the smallest and largest values in any random sample of five from that population.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“A common simplifying approach to quantifying a risk is simply to multiply the likelihood of some loss by the amount of the loss. This is simple but can be misleading. This assumes the decision maker is “risk neutral.” That is, if I offered you a 10% chance to win $100,000, you would actually be willing to pay as much as $10,000 for it. And you would consider it equivalent to a 50% chance of winning $20,000 or an 80% chance of winning $12,500. But the fact is that most people are not really risk neutral.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Perhaps the biggest misconception some managers may run into is the belief that correlation proves causation. The fact that one variable is correlated to another does not necessarily mean that one variable causes the other. If church donations and liquor sales are correlated, it is not because of some collusion between clergy and the liquor industry. It is because both are affected by how well the economy is doing.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“you should start thinking about measurements as a multistep chain of thought. Inferences can be made from highly indirect observations.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“If you know almost nothing, almost anything will tell you something.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business
“It is not too bold a statement to say that a software development project is one of the riskiest investments a business makes. For example, the chance of a large software project being canceled increases with project duration. In the 1990s, those projects that exceeded two years of elapsed calendar time in development had a default rate that exceeded the worst rated junk bonds (something over 25%).”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Is a programmer who gets 99% of assignments done on time and 95% error free better than one who gets only 92% done on time but with a 99% error-free rate? Is total product quality higher if the defect rate is 15% lower but customer returns are 10% higher? Is “strategic alignment” higher if the profit went up by 10% but the “total quality index” went down by 5%?”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Bertrand Russell once said, “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty. . . .”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“One example is how Amazon.com provides free gift wrapping in order to help track which books are purchased as gifts. At one point Amazon was not tracking the number of items sold as gifts; the company added the gift-wrapping feature to be able to track it. Another example is how consumers are given coupons so retailers can see, among other things, what newspapers their customers read. Inexpensive personal sensors and apps for smart devices are available for many types of measurement about human activity.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Very few experts actually measure their performance over time, and they tend to summarize their memories with anecdotes. They are right sometimes and wrong sometimes, but the anecdotes they remember tend to be more flattering to them.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Why do we care about measurements at all? There are just three reasons. The first reason—and the focus of this book—is that we should care about a measurement because it informs key decisions. Second, a measurement might also be taken because it has its own market value (e.g., results of a consumer survey) and could be sold to other parties for a profit. Third, perhaps a measurement is simply meant to entertain or satisfy a curiosity (e.g., academic research about the evolution of clay pottery). But the methods we discuss in this decision-focused approach to measurement should be useful on those occasions, too. If a measurement is not informing your decisions, it could still be informing the decisions of others who are willing to pay for the information.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Modeling the world mathematically is as uniquely a human trait as language or art, but you would rarely find anyone complaining of being “reduced to a poem” or “reduced to a painting.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“• If it’s really that important, it’s something you can define. If it’s something you think exists at all, it’s something you’ve already observed somehow. • If it’s something important and something uncertain, you have a cost of being wrong and a chance of being wrong. • You can quantify your current uncertainty with calibrated estimates. • You can compute the value of additional information by knowing the “threshold” of the measurement where it begins to make a difference compared to your existing uncertainty. • Once you know what it’s worth to measure something, you can put the measurement effort in context and decide on the effort it should take. • Knowing just a few methods for random sampling, controlled experiments, or even merely improving on the judgments of experts can lead to a significant reduction in uncertainty.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Once managers figure out what they mean and why it matters, the issue in question starts to look a lot more measurable.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Myth: When you have a lot of uncertainty, you need a lot of data to tell you something useful. Fact: If you have a lot of uncertainty now, you don’t need much data to reduce uncertainty significantly. When you have a lot of certainty already, then you need a lot of data to reduce uncertainty significantly. In other words—if you know almost nothing, almost anything will tell you something.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Instead of being overwhelmed by the apparent uncertainty in such a problem, start to ask what things about it you do know.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Anything you need to quantify can be measured in some way that is superior to not measuring it at all. —Gilb’s Law”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“The commonplace notion that presumes measurements are exact quantities ignores the usefulness of simply reducing uncertainty, especially if eliminating uncertainty is not feasible (as is usually the case).”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds. —Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“If we incorrectly think that measurement means meeting some nearly unachievable standard of certainty, then few things will be measurable even in the physical sciences.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
“Measurement: A quantitatively expressed reduction of uncertainty based on one or more observations.”
Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business

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