The last time I looked, I could add. But I know that I can’t
possibly add up all the numbers in the world today, this day,
the day I write. In the age of “over messaging” and “#I’m
Offended!!” there is one thing that out numbers them all –
numbers! The exponential creation of numbers per second
in earth seconds gives new veracity to the term “infinity”.
Nature has no equivalent for the concept of money, and the
most aged of indigenous people have a completely different
concept of time than those of us using Georgian calendars
and Greenwich Mean Time. So for those of us hanging onto
a planet spinning at 1,000 kph, numbers are also a rapidly
changing concept. They are more important and less
visible than ever.
Now some people organise these numbers and call it data,
some simply use its binary nature to create organising
systems, while others use numbers to get stuff done. Some
people even use numbers as weapons. The Egyptian and
Greek geometry we live with, as brilliant as it is, has been
added to by computational power where numbers are no
longer linear, to the point where we can now easily bend
data into three-dimensional cross relational logic.
We now live in the “Arithmocracy”. Those people with the
numbers and a cogent argument for what movement they
signal have power.
They always have, it’s just that now in our time there are more of them,
and that makes things more complex, and complexity is a mathematical as well
as a commercial problem.
So for those of us in commerce, what does this mean?
Well most of us simply have too many numbers at our
disposal. To make matters worse ,what if they are the
wrong numbers? Well we’ve just doubled our complexity
right there and have obfuscated the problem we are
ultimately trying to solve.
If red and blue ocean theory taught us anything it was the
power of simplicity. Red = hyper competition = bad, and
blue = less competition = good, based on a new lens to
reimagine our businesses with. We need to do this with
The legacy numbers pre-2007 (the start of the info tronics
era) may be less relevant to our businesses now more
than ever. I can barely find an example of a customer
journey that has not been altered substantially by the
intersection of technologies post-2007.
It’s more than possible therefore, that we our comforting
ourselves with “Red” data; with un-actionable data. In the
name of “we have always measured that way” etc. We
might just be guilty of a love affair with an old flame that
informs and reminds us of our past successes – our glory
We need to audit our red, un-actionable data sets,
and confine them to the petabyte external hard drive.
Then harvest the “lessons” from this data to provide a
macro- framework of our revenue history to refer to as a
sense check. Observe but not attend.