Thoughts about media in Canada

More than meets the eye

More then meets the eye

Alright here’s a bit of a different post. I’ll make links to media and measurement, but really, it’s a much broader subject that I like to call “invisible parameters”


Sometimes, we are too fact and data reliant. For instance, go present a strategy to a client without research to back it up. Not gonna happen. Does it mean that the idea wasn’t good? Does it mean the idea with data behind it is better? Or was it because you were not able to find the data, because it’s sort of a invisible parameter?

How many times have you heard that “TV is going to die”? Is it dead now? Any time soon maybe? On December 21st? Nah… it’s nowhere near dying. Evolving, sure, but not dying. It’s alive and well because it has a few things going on for it.

1. Rendez-vous. Sure, you can browse the web and its lolcats, sure you can watch the 73 seasons of “All my children” on your DVR, but will you talk about it around the coffee machine? No… but you’ll talk about the very questionable call by the referee that costed the game to your favorite team yesterday. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how people don’t think about this argument on top of their head when they debate of the value of TV. They’ll show you TV ratings and average minute audience to prove you it’s not dead, but they won’t be able to explain why.

2. Mindset. Why do you use a TV as opposed to another device. There are a few  reasons I can think of.

– You want to be brain dead in front of it. Can’t do that completely with other devices, you have to click and load other videos and scroll down and…

– You need your hands freed to crochet or something. Won’t happen in front of a computer.

– You want background noise and movement because you feel lonely. Sure, you can set a playlist on your computer, but even people with high digital consumption still put TV in the background.

3. Simplicity. Start the computer, wait for it to load, open Internet, type in the address, look for lolcats, refine your search because you’ve already seen those, find a good lolcat, watch it, search for another. Man, that’s exhausting and com-pli-ca-ted-!!! With TV… Turn on, put one of your favorite channel. Voilà!

4. Routine. Bad habits die hard. It’s human nature.

All in all, TV is still alive and well, but the reasons behind this health is not just numbers related, it’s more obscure factors (that are measurable, mind you)


Here’s a broader example. Suppose you are working on something that requires a lot of concentration and that takes time. Obviously, when your supervisor comes and asks you to work on something urgently, you will argue and explain your situation. Sometimes you’ll win your point, sometimes your supervisor will coax you into doing it anyway. You are irritated and keep thinking it is super inefficient and that it’ll take you a full hour to get back to where you were on your other project. And maybe you are right. Maybe not.

In the current situation, inefficiency = 1 hour. What if you don’t do it? Someone else much less qualified in the domain will do it, losing 3 hours. Your supervisor has to wait for the document and loses 2 hours managing client’s anger for the delay. Etc. Inefficiency = much more than 1 hour.

All in all, you were obviously right when you estimated the inefficiency to be 1 hour, but since you don’t know all parameters, you may be wrong thinking the boss made a bad call.


Suppose you have a team of 2 buyers. One is always able to negotiate 5% more discount than the other, netting out an additional bottom line profit of $100,000. This person is better right? Maybe. Until the company makes a huge mistake and have to ask for freebies and the buyer that’s more efficient is hated and gets nothing while the less efficient one gets $200,000 and saves the relationship with the client, that’s worth $5,000,000 to the company.

And add to this that the ”profitable buyer” is not liked internally, causing disputes that eats a lot of time and causes people to quit, costing the company a lot in training new staff, etc.

There is a huge almost non-quantifiable value to the heart and spirit of your department. Never neglect that.


Your girlfriend is irritated and states it’s because of a joke you made that insulted her. What’s the real reason behind the irritation? Most likely, it is NOT the joke. You did something ELSE. Being a guy, you have no clue what it is. It is pointless to debate the current subject. Try to understand what’s the real source of the problem. Address the cause, not the consequence.


So here’s a tip for your personal life and career in general: Listen to your gut feeling. Don’t trust it blindly, but at least listen. It’s usually your brain telling you ”I can’t explain precisely what’s going on, but I recognize some sort of pattern and I’m pretty sure I’m right”.

Data is great to prove something right, but it should never be the sole driver of your decisions. Because the ”proof” doesn’t mean it’s the ”reason” why it’s right.

Trust me, I’m the data guy 😉


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