How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business by Douglas W. Hubbard will change the way you look at what you don’t know, because of what you do know.
According to Hubbard, it’s all about uncertainty reduction, which is the basis for all exact science. How much do you know now? Express it in terms that represent your uncertainty.
Hubbard calls his studies Applied Information Economics. People who hire him are eager to understand exactly how to calculate the values of an intangible – customer satisfaction, the value of public health, or the financial risk in a new IT investment, for instance.
Applied Information Economics is showing up in the most interesting places. The U.S. Marine Corps, for instance, hired Hubbard to create a way to forecast fuel requirements for battle, which is presently being used in the war in Iraq. Hubbard’s methodology reduced their previous forecasting error by more than half.
I like this book for much the same reason that I enjoyed Freakonomics: the key to finding the answer you seek is in asking the right question. Chapter two – Eratosthenes, Enrico & Emily – is my favorite chapter, probably because he quotes from one of my own Wizard of Ads ® case studies.
Who’d have thought that you can measure customer satisfaction, or the value of happiness?
If you’ve ever wondered how much to charge for a product, or whether your branding campaign is generating a positive ROI, you’re going to enjoy How To Measure Anything.