Seth’s Blog: Speedometer confusion

The number on the speedometer isn’t always an indication of how fast you’re getting to where you’re going.

You might, after all, be driving in circles, really quickly.

Campbell’s Law tells us that as soon as a number is used as the measurement for something, someone will get confused and start gaming the number, believing that they’re also improving the underlying metric, when, in actuallity, they’re merely making the number go up.

Here are a few measurements that are often the result of speedometer confusion:

Book sales vs. Impact

Money vs. Happiness

Twitter followers vs. Anything

Money raised vs. Votes earned

Weight vs. Health

Income vs. Skill

Facebook likes vs. Liked

Tenure vs. Competence

Length vs. Quality

Faster? How about better?

via Seth’s Blog: Speedometer confusion.

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