Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Numbers Obsession - Day 13

I told myself when I started this experiment that it was for me first. That I wasn't writing any of these posts with my readers in mind. Whatever I was inspired to write, I would write.

But then I caught myself the other day checking my Google Analytics. Trying to make some sense out of which posts are getting the most reads and which ones fall flat. What's getting a retweet and what is a lonely soldier. And then my head started spinning with what I should write that will get read more so I could get the stats up instead of what I wanted and needed to write. 

The next thing you know I couldn't write at all. 

Except I had to. I was committed to this 30 day experiment. And almost half way through I am not about to bail. So instead of staring at a blank page on my computer I stared at my Stats Overview. And then my inspiration clicked in.

I've been here before. I saw myself fall into it when I self-published my first novel. Checking Amazon every day for numbers of books sold and where my darling was ranked. It was that same obsession with numbers that had been drilled into me during my corporate career. That above all - above the quality of the work, above the process, what is most important at the end of the day are the numbers. Did we meet our KPIs? Are we pacing to meet our goals? How much money will this make us?

It's a failed premise. Yes, the metrics are important and in the age of Big Data we are now entering, there is no doubt there will be even more emphasis on numbers. 

But an obsession with how may Facebook shares you garnered gets in the way of delivering good product. A fixation on how much revenue is hitting the bottom line gets in the way of creativity and productivity. It gets in the way of the work. And sometimes it gets in the way of writing a blog post. 

note: This is Day #13 of a 30 Day Experiment. Here are the details on how it all started.

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