Jason Fried of 37signals – Know Business in Every Role

Jason Fried recently did an interview, and it’s phenomenal. Pay really close attention to minute 6+, where he talks about how important it is for people in different disciplines to understand business; why they are doing/making what they are doing/making. His examples and personal experience around this idea are spot-on.

I have to cop and admit that I haven’t always been as smart as Jason: I’ve bought gadgets, software, and other “assets” long before I needed them, much like you buy a bunch of running shorts and shirts in the hopes it’ll get you out of the house. I’m sure Jason isn’t perfect, either, but his experience seems completely applicable to the modern internet startup, or even a big company trying to refine its way of handling web, software, and product development.

A long time ago, it would have been hard to be more reactive than proactive, but today, when a server can be built in a week and arrive on your doorstep, we can afford to be more reactive and, “use today’s information to make decisions about today,” to paraphrase.

This is great for analytics: we are the impetus for decision making, in the ideal case. We should be the ones hearing this message and demonstrating the benefits of being reactive, which is the natural state of web analytics a lot of the time. Not overly-reactive (as Avinash said about real-time data: are you going to make real-time decisions?), but using good information to make good decisions in a timeframe that is statistically (or gut) significant.


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