[thechat] Application Forms (Was: predictive indexing - is it evil ?)

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Wed Sep 4 09:44:01 CDT 2002

On Wed, 4 Sep 2002, Tony Crockford wrote:

> http://www.weirdideasthatwork.com/tableofcontent.html

OK, moving this back to the realm of the practical (as all good creativity
work does after generating ideas):

> 4 chapters of the book encourage:
> | 3 | Hire "Slow Learners" (Of The Organizational Code)
> (Weird Idea #1)

If that's so you have to rethink why you do stuff so you can explain it to
them, then why not hire people who aren't afraid to ask questions?

> | 4 | Hire People Who Make You Uncomfortable, Even Those You Dislike
> (Weird Idea #1 1/2)

Sometimes, although again, if it's for the challenge, this works better if
they're there either in an official Gadfly role, or are there for short
periods of time. In either case, not getting in the way of delivering

> | 5 | Hire People You (Probably) Don't Need
> (Weird Idea #2)

Great if you can afford it. Not really applicable in the current economy.

> | 6 | Use Job Interviews To Get Ideas, Not To Screen Candidates
> (Weird Idea #3)
...and get sued over intellectual property.

> Interesting take on recruiting.......
> would you want creative checkout operators?  you might, they are the
> people who could increase you sales tenfold if they actually meant it
> when they asked "did you find everything you were looking for?" and had
> time to note down the products that you didn't buy because they weren't
> fresh/out of stock/wrong size/colour etc.

...while watching the queues build up behind, and costing you vast amounts
in collating and analysing the data. It's a great thing to do, but the
practical implications for most supermarkets make it a non-starter.

Overall sales are *much* more influenced by checkout times than tinkering
round the edges of the product line.

Supermarkets do vast amounts of analysing basket contents (ie what goes
through in a single transaction) and their supply chain to know about
stock-outs without holding up the thing that makes them money. They
already have that information without pissing off customers in checkout

> imagine a supermarket with every checkout manned by someone being
> rewarded for gathering market intelligence not checking out your
> goods......

Thanks, but I want to get out of the store today, please. It *has* been
tried, and it causes more problems than you really need, without providing
much more information.

Supermarkets are *very* sophisticated users of data.

> here's another thing that always gets me.. Stock control systems measure
> what you sold but can't measure what you didn't sell but customers
> wanted.

Only true if you're analysing a single store with a static stock list.
Analyse across an entire  chain, and regularly introduce trials of new
products and you'll get this. Good supermarkets do trials *all the time*.
If a product doesn't prove itself within a week, it's not going to
sell (and yes, retailers have the data to back up this assertion).

Plus this is real data on real purchases, not self-reported data (which is
always open to question).

(who has worked on CPG CRM and supply chain gigs)

"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

More information about the thechat mailing list