Via knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu Article
Why Small Data Is the New Big Data
“Recently I did a speech for 3,000 executives here in New York City. I asked them to raise their hand if they spent at least one or two days in a consumer home over the last year. Two people raised their hands. That shows everything, as I tend to say. If you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, you wouldn’t describe that person based on, ‘Well, I love her because she’s 6′ 7″ tall, and I love the four last digits of her cell phone number. They really turn me on.’ Right? No, we have to have that emotional aspect.
It’s very tricky for CEOs and senior managers to understand this because they are so reliant on sitting in meetings and meeting rooms behind screens. Suddenly they have to strip that whole identity away from themselves and go into real consumer homes. That’s where I think the younger generation will start to get it.
I’ll tell you one thing: If I were 15 or 18 or 20 or 25 years of age right now, the first thing I would do is to understand deep consumer psychology by spending time in consumer homes … because that is going to be the biggest asset in the future. Every company wants that. …
I had the honor of spending time with the founder and the owner of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, and I’ll tell you a funny story. I went into one of his stores in Stockholm in Sweden many years ago, and I had to meet up with him. He was nowhere to be seen in the office. So I said to the staff, ‘Where is he?’ They said, ‘Well, he’s probably at the usual spot.’ I said, ‘Where is that?’ [They said] ‘That is at the check out.’ So I went down to the cash registers. Guess what, they were right. He was sitting behind one of the cash registers and checking people out. I said to him, ‘Why are you doing that?’ He said, ‘Because this is the cheapest and the most efficient research ever. I can ask everyone why they choose it and why they didn’t choose it.” This is the essence of how good business leaders are.'”