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Monday, December 20, 2010

By The Numbers

Do you know who said this: "Guessing is dysfunctional. Ignoring prior experience is denial. Using valid numbers to project performance is rational."?

No? If I told you it was Harrison "Buzz" Price would you know? Don't know who "Buzz" Price is? I didn't either until today.

Mr. Price was a research economist. I don't really know what that entails, but Mr. Price was one, and he was very good at it. How good?

Mr. Price selected the site for Disneyland in Anaheim, CA in 1953. He also selected the site for Disney World in Orlando, FL. That's good.

How did he do it? By using numbers. Data, that is. Facts. He analyzed numerous factors, information like population trends in the area and how accessible the area was, to determine results. He didn't use gut feel or just follow what someone else was doing.

Today, we might say that sounds like Six Sigma or some other management fad (did I just call Six Sigma a fad? I didn't mean it to sound that way, because it's not.), but back in 1953 they probably just called it being smart.

Oh, the quote at the beginning of this post is from Mr. Price's book Walt's Revolution! and I read about him in the November, 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine

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